Just Avy

A mix of thoughts, feelings and occasionally, stuff I have actually done.

Movie Review – Red Dawn (2012)

ImageFirst off, I’m not going to lie. I wanted to see this because of Chris Hemsworth. If I’m going to be looking at some tough guy on a massive screen I want him to look nice!

I also love action movies. i love seeing things get blown up, thrown about and just generally destroyed. The trailer promised all this and more.

I’m not claiming this is going to win any awards, but it is a ‘fun leave-your-brain-at-the-door-and-enjoy’ kinda deal. It has eye candy for both sexes and some fairly decent action sequences.

Chris Hemsworth is a Marine home for a few weeks visiting the family when North Korea decides to invade and teach the American Government how to run a country. Poor Josh Hutcherson finds himself in another Hunger Games-esque society, Tom Cruise’s offspring Connor is along for the ride along with some pretty ladies. They all end up at a Cabin In The Woods (wait a minute) where they must come together and fight those pesky Koreans.

And fight they do. Sadly, quite a few of the fight scenes are edited together horribly, something that is happening more and more in movies these days. You just can’t see what is going on, the close ups are too close, the camera work is shoddy; inexperienced editor (unlikely, he’d already worked on The Bourne Supremacy, Quantum of Solace and Iron Man 2); or covering up disappointing fight choreography? You decide.

But let’s not get too distracted from what is actually a decent enough movie, after all it has everything I look for in a ‘leave-your-brain-at-the-door-and-blow-sh*t-up’ movie. Chris Hemsworth frowns his way through each and every situation and looks mighty fine with an automatic weapon in his hands. The plot isn’t too unbelievable, my boy Hemsworth does state that they aren’t trying to win anything, but by being a bit of a nuisance to the opposing force they may help weaken their resolve; a logical argument if you ask me. There are some plot holes (phone battery seeming to last for weeks, with no sign of a plug in charger anywhere in the woods), but wait, there goes Hemsworth with a gun, looking all rugged and manly.

As plots go, it’s pretty basic, ending up where you would expect (see for yourself though), let’s blame/credit the screenplay writers for this. I’ll let the Director off the hook, as it’s his first outing in ‘the chair’, and everyone needs to start somewhere, right? The cast are largely unknown, having appeared in various television shows (Friday Night Lights, Home & Away and so on). The biggest names are probably Hemsworth and the smooth talking Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Supernatural).

I came out of this thinking; “yeah, I enjoyed that”- which is good enough for me. Probably won’t be one I rush out to buy on DVD immediately, but I’d certainly watch it again. So, give it a go if you like and let me know what you think.

A.

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I’m Ok, Because I Don’t Have Kids.

It happened.

We all knew it was only a matter of time. I mean, the niece did turn 12 way back in September. She also started High School.

Science lessons, that’s where it happened.

The 12 year old returned home from school one day looking positively unhappy. They were going to be learning about the human body, she said. They would be learning about lady bits and…man bits, she said. My sister, her mother smiled that ‘it’s ok Auntie Av has got this’ look at me. Why me? I’m the Aunt, it’s supposed to be my job to encourage the 12 year old to misbehave and say naughty words and get covered in mud. I’m supposed to be the fun one.

Cut to a few weeks later I get home from work and according to my sister ‘all hell broke loose’ on the way home from school. The niece branded her own Mother and Father DISGUSTING. There was even some kind of lecture…from the 12 year old.

Once she arrives home, she proceeds to give the same lecture to Nanny and Grandad, as they too are DISGUSTING. Even more so, because they have a total of three children, so logically, they were disgusting 3 times. The 12 year old now considers herself lucky being an only child, clearly Mum and Dad only managed this DISGUSTING thing once.

I arrive home from work, the 12 year old is in her room contemplating how disgusting life has become. I’m warned in advance of what has been learnt on this most disgusting of days.

Footsteps…the creaky step two from the bottom…the crackle of the door as it opens. I wait with not inconsiderable unease; to be told that I too am DISGUSTING. Enter the 12 year old, looking mortified. A sweeping look around the room at no one in particular, least of all the three people she cannot bear to make eye contact with, followed by “Can I talk to you in private?” Directed at me!!

We retreat to the hallway, where I try to ask as casually as possible “what’s the matter?” The 12 year olds reply: “We learnt about (MASSIVE PAUSE) sex today. They; she gestures towards the closed living room door; are disgusting. Me: “Oh…” *waits for inevitable onslaught.* The 12 year old “But you’re not (wait, what?), I can still talk to you (huh, what’s going on?), you don’t have children!! And off she goes upstairs.

I wait, processing what just didn’t happen, realising as I walk back through the door just why I am off the hook. My sister looks at me, expecting I received a lecture too. I grin and say to my Mum, Dad and little sister; “you are all disgusting, I’m not, because I don’t have children!”

That’s right, the 12 year old still has some innocence left.

A.

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March, The Month Of Unemployment!

Second year in a row I have been unemployed during the month of March.

Second year in a row I was made redundant.

They say these things happen in threes, well March 2014 can just sod off.

A.

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Do They Mean Well Or Am I Just Incapable Of Living My Own Life?

Over the last two years I have noticed a recurring problem with some family members. They meddle!

Take the latest in love life disasters; excellent night out at the pub, decent live music, fun with friends and family – all goes downhill when we leave and continue at a cousins house. Someone decides it would be a great idea to name two people from the pub you would like to have sexytime with.

Great! One of mine is standing two foot away from me.

Some people may think this was a blessing in disguise, but as my life is not some ‘made-for-Porn-Hub-drunk-college-dorm-room set up’ – it wasn’t.

In fact, any progress I had made with this person has been 100% undone, because oddly enough neither of us like our business to be on display Jeremy Kyle style for all the world and their dogs to see.

Now, I don’t doubt that in the drunk minds of the family, they were helping ‘move things along’, however in the cold, harsh, sober light of the next morning it was apparent they hadn’t.

This is the third time in two years this has happened, so I ask myself ‘do they mean well or am I just incapable of living my own life?’ I seem to be able to do basic stuff like dress, leave the house, go to work and so on, so why do they think I cannot handle my own love life?

Granted, I don’t have the most exciting of tales to tell when it comes down to it. But maybe I like it that way, maybe I like remembering the names of the people I’ve chosen to be intimate with, maybe I like not having a list as long as the Great Wall Of China.

Maybe, just maybe, I would like to finally live life my way, without having to ask for permission or acceptance from everyone. I am 34 after all.

So, well meaning, meddlesome family – thanks, but at the end I’d like to say (to quote the great Frank Sinatra); “I did it my way.”

A.

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Army Men!!

They are no good for my mental health.

A.

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Do I Try To Fix It Or Not?

2 problems, both male.

Problem 1; The Boy.

A while back we have a conversation where he asks why I haven’t been speaking to him, (he’s an idiot who rarely speaks to me unless he wants attention.) He complains that he doesn’t know what “this thing is,” (it was a friends who are friendly every now and then thing.) We’ve barely spoken since this last conversation.

Problem 2; The Thirty Something Text Maniac.

Haven’t heard from him for 3 weeks, last time we ‘spoke’ it was of course a text conversation. I still get NOTHING when we happen to be in the same room. Not even a hello now. Without a phone to hide behind, he is useless.

So, do I try to fix it or not.

I wouldn’t even know where to begin with The Boy, having behaved so horribly towards him. I can’t let him take all the blame you see, as I am just as bad at not speaking to him. Mr. Text Maniac however, I just feel why should I make an effort when he doesn’t even say hello or smile. Throw in The Boy’s actual girlfriend and Mr. Text Maniac’s being hung up on someone who doesn’t want him….honestly; how the hell do I get myself involved in these situations?

I should sleep on this and tackle one idiot male at a time. Wish me luck, I have a feeling I’m going to need it.

A.

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31 Days And Counting!

Just 31 days until one of the best days of my entire life. Olympic Gymnastics Day! I was definitely lucky enough to get two tickets for the Women’s All Round Individual Finals and Medal Ceremony. I’m taking my 11 year old niece; and I know it will be a day I will treasure until my last breath.

I genuinely love the Olympics. The one sporting event that gets me all excited and nervous and proud to be British. In fact; I think from this very moment, I will forever class my ethnicty as ‘Other – Team GB’ on official forms! Hey, if listing your religion as ‘Jedi’ is acceptable, then ‘Team GB ethnicity’ is too.

I received my tickets two weeks ago, booked my hotel for the night a few hours ago and now have only to wait. Sadly time will fly by, the day will dawn and then it will all be over. Probably the only time I will ever get to attend an Olympic games in my lifetime!

Two things I know for certain;

1. If this is the only Olympic games I attend, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but London. My favourite and most beautiful of all the worlds cities.

2. I wouldn’t want to share this day with anyone but my 11 year old niece. When I am no longer here, she can look at the pictures and think ” That was a great day out with my Aunt.”

Nope, definitely no one else in the world I’d rather be with, in a city I love, being a part of the greatest Sporting Event the world will ever see.

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Stage 1 Complete. Now Entering Stage 2!

July is fast approaching. This means I am halfway through my first major transition since puberty. Puberty was one of those ‘you have no choice’ deals, whereas this change has been self-imposed. Part of this new transition involved being tougher with everyone, family, friends, my dog. But most importantly, ME! It’s taken 3 decades to reach this point, so I’m fairly pleased with my latest mental achievement.

Just over a year ago I had yet another broken heart situation, after I’d finished moping around I made myself the firm promise – NEVER AGAIN. No, no, no!!! I’m pleased to report; that with a little help from a friend, this has been achieved. So far at least.

6 months ago I decided brutal honesty was the way forward. I would tell the truth even if it meant someone got hurt. I would speak my mind even if it upset someone. I was worried people would not like these changes, as previously I would hold back on my feelings and thoughts. To my surprise, friends, family and even my dog are still around, (the dog has no choice really). I’m sure I’ve upset a few people along the way, but they are still here so no lasting damage has been done.

Stage 1 complete. Now entering Stage 2!

This is where it gets tricky. Happiness! That’s what will trip me up. I’m not an outwardly happy person. Many people have yet to see true happiness emanating from within. I don’t want to be one of those freakishly-annoying-happy-all-the-time-people. Because that is not natural. But a little more happiness a little more often wouldn’t go amiss. For this I will definitely need the help of those I hold dear. Sorry dog, but you are top of that list!

One of the obstacles preventing the attack on happiness is, of course, ‘The Boy’. Something that needs to be resolved, but something that is going to have to wait until next week. Words will have to be chosen carefully, alcohol needs to be absent…very absent, because I have to know why? Why this keeps happening? Will it continue happening? What do we want from our situation? I don’t want boundaries, I just want my friend back!

So, until ‘The Boy’ has been sorted, happiness may have to take a back seat. Inevitable really as next week is a Full Moon. And I do suffer from Full Moon Sadness!

Wish me luck, I’m definitely going to need it this weekend.

A.

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Receipts Are Not An Excuse To Chop Down Trees!

Anyone who has worked in Retail will understand my latest frustration. I answer the telephone at work today and the conversation went like this;

Customer: I bought a Wii game from you on Sunday and it’s all scratched and won’t load properly.

Me: I’m sorry about that. Do you still have your receipt? We’d be happy to exchange the game for you.

My store has a very relaxed exchange policy, no quibble exchanges within 28 days when accompanied by a receipt. We don’t even test the item to check the fault. Although in this case, scratches should be easy to spot.

Customer: No, I don’t. I only bought it on Sunday though.

Me: We do need to see proof of purchase though, without the receipt I won’t be able to exchange the item for you.

Customer: Can’t you see if you can find what I bought on the computer?

Admittedly; this would probably be easy to do, however it only proves the item was sold – not who bought it.

Me: The Store Manager would be able to. I don’t have the authorisation I’m afraid.

Customer: Can’t he exchange my game?

Me: That’s not something I can decide, you are welcome to come into the store and ask, but I think he will stick to the official store policy of no receipt, no exchange.

Customer: Well maybe you shouldn’t sell scratched discs…*hangs up the phone.*

This is a pretty typical conversation in retail, the sad thing is…Receipts are not a new invention, we have been using them for years. So WHY are people always surprised when you tell them they need their receipt? I just Googled ‘Paper receipts’ and discovered (to my immense satisfaction), Americans are required by law to keep their receipts for tax purposes. A fact I will be passing on to the customers who choose not to keep them. The fact I live in England doesn’t make a difference at all, it’s the point I’m trying to make that is important.

Receipts are not an excuse to chop down trees, they serve to help people like me process an exchange with no hassle whatsoever. Please, do people like me and yourselves a favour…KEEP THAT LITTLE BIT OF PAPER. It really does save time.

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Diamond Jubilee

I would like to wish Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II the very best as her Diamond Jubilee comes to a close. Thank you for your service to your country Ma’am.

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