25 February, 2014
Saturday we headed into Southbank to catch the second instalment of the outback slasher, Wolf Creek 2. Having loved the first one, I couldn’t wait to check out the sequel and was quietly hoping that they wouldn’t ruin it with a second film that was lacking. The first movie was impressive, particularly given it was shot in chronological order in just 25 days! Rated R, the first movie was certainly much more graphic than this second instalment which was only rated MA, however what it lacked in gore it certainly made up for in bizarreness.
It’s been almost 10 years since we left Mick Taylor, homicidal bushman, in his hunting grounds of the Australian outback. Presumably continuing to add to his body count, this movie picks up with a couple of German backpackers who are exploring the vastly beautiful Australian outback carefree. That is, until one night after visiting the Wolfe Creek Crater, Mick stumbles onto their illegal campsite in a National Park. Explaining the pitfalls of illegal camping, he offers them a lift back into town and it’s here where things start to go wrong.
Mick Taylor (once again played brilliantly chillingly by John Jarratt) begins yet another murderous rampage through the isolated outback. Whilst her boyfriend Rutger isn’t so lucky, Katarina manages to escape and runs into British tourist Paul Hammersmith (Ryan Corr) bloody, hands bound and screaming for help. Bundling her up into his car, Paul and Katarina are then stalked by Mick in a high speed chase across the barren land. Paul becomes the focus of this life and death cat and mouse game as he tries to survive the night in the isolated killing fields Mick Taylor seems to know so well.
There are definite parallels between the Ivan Milat backpacker murders and the Peter Falconio murder which make this saga all the more chilling, particularly as it claims to be based on a true story. While the body count is lower and seemingly less gruesome in this second instalment it’s certainly no less brutal and is far more psychological than your typical slasher movie. John Jarratt once again puts in a brilliant performance as one of the creepiest killers to ever terrorise our screens and no doubt you’ll be hearing that trademark laugh in your nightmares.
I thought Ryan Corr was actually quite good as Paul Hammersmith also, putting in a gritty and believable performance not to mention a pretty good British accent as well. My favourite scene in the entire movie is a completely bizarre encounter between Paul and Mick in an underground torture chamber. Having finally captured Paul and brought him to his lair, Mick is ready to inflict some serious pain on the ‘vermin’ foreign tourist when his knowledge of Australian culture and history becomes the only thing between him and Mick grinding off his fingers one by one. Perhaps the most bizarre part of this entire scene which I absolutely loved is a rousing rendition of Rolf Harris’ Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport sung by the two as they slug down rum and get to know each other a little better.
Like most films of this genre there are plenty of laughs to be had along the way, despite the brutal on screen antics of old Uncle Mick. There are also some great tracks used in the soundtrack that put such a bizarre spin on the action happening on the screen. I love all that weird kind of stuff, so this was right up my alley, although The Man was a little disappointed in the lack of gore. I on the other hand thought it was great to see a movie that didn’t just rely on the shock of body parts and gallons of fake blood to give you the heebies.
Another aspect of the movie that I loved was the fact that you can’t help but kind of like Mick Taylor, despite his homicidal tendencies. When he’s not hacking people up, he’s actually a pretty funny guy who delivers some great one liners. The other thing I loved was the fact that so much of the cinematography of this film could be used as a tourism ad for Australia. Edit out all the parts where tourists are being hunted, tortured and brutally murdered and you’ve got yourself some spectacular shots of Australian landscapes. Add to that the footage of backpackers having a fantastic time in some unbelievable locations and you feel yourself wondering why you don’t just quit your job, pull on a swag and get out there and explore this amazing country of ours. Don’t worry, it’s not long until Mick shows up to remind you why you don’t.
Thoroughly enjoyable – I give this 7 severed fingers out of 10.
18 February, 2014
Things have been pretty quiet around here lately, if you haven't noticed. Maybe you have, or maybe with nothing to stimulate you or remind you I've simply slipped by unnoticed. Either way that's ok. I'm letting us both off the hook. It's such a combination of life factors for me at the moment that I refuse to beat myself up about it or feel too guilty, unlike in the past. I'd hate to be posting drivel for the sake of filling the page so for now I've adopted the idea that silence is golden. That's not to say that I don't intend on posting. I want to post at least every week but I'd love to do even more. But things just haven't turned out that way.
It's funny really, it feels like everything's been happening and nothing at the same time. I'm in that weird space where life feels quite busy but I have nothing particularly exciting to report. As you know I'm headed back to the USA in August so I've been trying to cut back on my goings out to save money. It's lucky I've got some great friends with great pads where we can have lots of fun without needing to go out or spend lots of money. Aside from trying to save, the general business of things which aren't worth blogging has left me feeling a little uninspired to be honest. But working away I have been, behind the scenes, and I've achieved some great things in the past few weeks.
I'm very pleased to announce that I now have a regular column in the Big Beat of the 50s Magazine, who you may remember I've worked with once before. I will now be their Queensland correspondent on all things rockabilly, taking over from the Queen of Rockabilly herself, Lori Lee Cash. Those are some pretty big cowboy boots to fill but I'm certainly looking forward to giving it my best shot! I submitted my first column last week and I can't wait for the magazine to come out. It's a members only publication though, so if you want to be able to be able to have a flick though you can become a member here. I'll try to share my column with you when I can though.
My other big achievement is paying off my car loan - almost two months ahead of schedule! It may not seem like much, but I'm actually very proud of myself. I knew it would feel good once it was over and done with, but it actually feels a whole lot better than I was expecting. It feels great to know that I took on a commitment 5 years ago and was able to see it through and have something to show for it. Not to mention, it frees up a whole bunch of extra funds now which will go straight towards my holiday. Exciting stuff folks!
I just couldn't let another week go by without checking in with you guys and while I don't expect to make a habit out of this whole 'radio silence' thing, sometimes I think it's good to give yourself a little break, especially if you're feeling tired and a little overwhelmed. Often you only need a little respite to start feeling truly invigorated again. I have a feeling that will be the case for me. I'm already feeling better after a great weekend feeling loved up with The Man on Valentines Day and spending some really fun, relaxing times with friends. It's always the little things for me. I just needed some quiet time to let things flourish in my mind instead of my head being over-crowded with so many thoughts that it just sounded like white noise searching for a radio station.
Also, thanks to a lovely gift from The Man and as a little treat on my behalf for fishing paying off my car loan early I'm treating myself to a new tattoo. A pretty decent sized one, one I've been planning for ages and one I can't wait to get! So stay tuned for a new Tattoo Tuesday soon, exciting stuff folks!
Hope you've all been well. While we're on the subject, is there anything you'd like to get off your chest? Anything that's been overwhelming you lately? Or have you had a win we should all be celebrating with you? Do tell.
06 February, 2014
Last weekend the first annual Rat Rods and Rockabilly event was held at the Hamilton Hotel. Initially we weren’t going to go (we’re saving for the US so we’re trying to cut back on our social spending) but I was trying to organise a bit of a surprise photoshoot for The Man and the photographer was going to be at the event, so we decided to kill two birds with one stone. So to speak. As you may or may not know, The Man is selling his ’59 Ford Tank Fairlane 500 and I wanted to surprise him with the opportunity to get some nice shots of it and with it before it goes.
|Photo by Pix by Pete|
We arrived around lunch time and things were already in full swing. Brightly coloured market stalls covered the car park and there were some kick ass rat rods and rides parked throughout. I tell you, those marshalls are operating on tetris level expert. It was a brutally hot and sunny day, but we managed to avoid getting sunburnt by hanging out in the shade of a lot of the stalls. The bands sweated it out on stage as we made the rounds catching up with new friends and familiar faces. We’d just booked our flights to America that morning so there was lots of talk of Tiki Oasis with tiki master Marcus Thorn of Tiki Beat and Tiki Dylan’s Idol Hands. Excitement!
When the heat got too much, we headed inside to the air conditioned comfort of the pub for a few beers and a bite to eat. It was a really relaxed, enjoyable day. I had a wonderful time and for once it felt like we could just float around and take it all in without having to run around doing things or seeing everyone. The show was small enough to be leisurely, although I can’t help but hope it’s a little bigger next year. I especially hope there’ll be more room for more cars. The festivities ran into the night but we weren’t staying. We wrapped up the afternoon with our photoshoot with Phill’s Kustom Photography.
Lots of fun and at least these pics will be something for The Man to look back on and reminisce all the work he put into the tank and all the years he loved it, once it’s been sold. On top of selling his tank, he’s also selling off a lot of his private collection of vintage and collectibles. He’s simplifying his existence and is looking for a new project car-wise to work on. Out with the old and in with the new. I better be on my best behaviour! HA.
If you’re interested in snapping up some bargains on an amazing collection of vintage, retro, kitsch and tiki type stuff the sale is on THIS SUNDAY 9 Feb. There’ll be kitchen tables and chairs, bars, click clack lounge, lounge chairs, suitcase BBQ, tin signs, display cabinets, complete dinner sets, pictures and so much more. Priced to clear so get on that! If you’re interested in coming to the sale, contact me for the address. Here’s a sneak peek of just some of the stuff available!
28 January, 2014
Australia Day means different things for different people. Lately it seems to have a lot of political and ‘politically correct’ overtones. It’s a complex issue, but I’m not really going to get into it. For me Australia Day is not about celebrating the day the British arrived in Australia, it’s for celebrating all the great things about our country and the people that live in it. Our glorious weather, our safety and freedoms, our quality of life, standard of living, clean drinking water, readily available nutritious food, Aussie delicacies like Lamingtons, Minties and Pavlova (don’t start that debate) and of course the wonderful people that we breed here. That would be my friends. So we spent the day surrounded by those we love, having a few beers, enjoying the sunshine, being idiots and having a laugh at ourselves. Very Aussie if you ask me. Oh and did I mention there was a slip n slide?
I went for the Aussie ‘beach babe’ look which was actually quite terrifying. Not me at all, but a great laugh. The Man went as Captain Australia, others were Aunty Jack, Dawn Fraser and Schapelle Corby – all men and all very tongue in cheek! The rest were of course, all just versions of ‘true blue’ Aussies. We shared beers and laughs with our mates, not to mention a ripper barbie. Couldn’t get much more ‘straya than that. Except it could, we all joined in a rousing rendition of the national anthem before the slip n slide costume competition got underway. It was a riot watching everyone go down, some interesting techniques, including mine which seemed to involved going arse over,
bashing my head on the ground and then rolling sideways all the way down the hill. I am so graceful.
Aunty Jack came third and one a warm West Coast Cooler which he then proceeded to scull. Second place went to Dan for an epic nudie run that took him all the way to the next door neighbour’s front door, he won a warm VB which is chugged half of and then poured the rest over his head. First place went to a very deserving Schapelle Corby who had a rather bumpy boogie board ride down. He was honoured with a warm tallie of Fosters which he almost finished, chugging it all in one go. It was the best Australia Day ever and so much fun, although we were all very sore the next day. Who knew the muscles you punished when tearing down a slip n slide!?
It was the perfect way to be thankful for the wonderful lifestyle we have in this country. We’re not called the ‘Lucky Country’ for nothing, and it got me thinking about how lucky we really are. The opportunities we have. The connections I’ve made because of all of that. In fact, the party was held by one of the loveliest couples I’ve ever met. It’s brilliant really, originally the lovely lady was a follower of this blog who always brought a smile to my face with her kind words and pictures of her pug. I finally got to meet her and we totally hit it off. Since then we’ve become great friends and get to hang out at parties. When I woke up on Monday, in the comfy bed her and her hubby had so kindly provided for us, I had a moment where I was kind of amazed that only 6 months ago, I’d only ever spoken to her on social media and now I was waking up in a bed at her house, so very well looked after. It’s pretty cool huh?
THAT is what Australia Day is about to me. To me we are a land of kindness and opportunity. It’s yours if you want to take it.
14 January, 2014
Just before Christmas I received a little present in the mail, a copy of a new novel Motor Dolls by NBC photojournalist Lori Bentley Law. I was very excited to get my hands on it before it was actually available in Australia and was really looking forward to reading it over my holidays. For her first foray into novel writing, it's safe to say I'm impressed with Lori's work.
The blurb on the back reads:
A prophecy shared by a stranger on the day of her grandmother’s death pushes Jeda to live like there’s no tomorrow, chasing one outrageous stunt after another, all instigated by mysterious messages from an unknown source. But when the danger escalates, she begins to question the motive behind it all: Is she simply nuts? Or is some mysterious man in gray really trying to drive her to her death?
In her search for answers, Jeda lets Benny in on the secret, and since Benny is at a crossroads—finish her Masters in Geology? or drop out of school to pursue her true passion? —she agrees to help. As Benny documents the madness of Jeda’s life on film—like driving in a Blindfolded Death Race and luging downhill on a skateboard with no brakes—they learn the truth behind the enigmatic man in gray; a truth that tests the foundations of Jeda’s family and of their friendship.
Hoowee! I can assure you this book is as much fun as it sounds. It was the perfect read for over my holidays, an easy and enjoyable read. Fast-paced with plenty of action to keep things interesting. It's easy to see this book was written by a woman who knows her way around the garage and with a knack for creating believable characters, even in unbelievable situations. Little quirks make the characters seem very real, like someone you know or could easily know.
There are lots of zinging one liners that are as amusing as they are true. My favourite "So much for hiding her emotions. Jeda was seriously losing her touch. She used to be able to fake joy better than a second-place pin up queen." (p. 93) HA!! There's also beautiful descriptions of girls and their cars or riding their motorbikes at top speed to clear their heads. Like this lovely moment when Benny and Jeda met.
"At the end of the small parking lot, under the flickering glow of the streetlights sat Bondorella and Stella, Benny's Ford truck and Jeda's Buick respectively - the things that had bonded them from the start. They'd met at a car show featuring a priest who blessed demons out of cars. While waiting for him to douse her Buick's cranky carb with holy water, Jeda felt the familiar tingle on her neck - but it was different somehow. When she turned to look, she found a camera-wielding, vintage-dressed girl putting her in the cross hairs of a lens. Jeda had pushed the camera aside in a none-to-gentle way. Focus on the pin-ups, not me. I'm here for the cars." "Clearly. I can tell by the way you study the details. It's a rare sight I wanted to capture, that's all. The beautiful love between a girl and her car". Jeda stared at her, perplexed. She'd nailed it. With every passing day, Jeda loved her Buick more, not just because it was Gran's. She loved the portholes on the fenders and the sporting elegance of the personal coupe, but most of all she loved the patina age had bestowed on the aqua and gray paint. She loved the car so much she had 'SPECIAL' tattooed around her forearm, lettered exactly like the emblem, the first tattoo she'd gotten in honor of both Gran and her eighteenth birthday." (p. 38)
There's lots of fun to be had on this little adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat while wishing you were also taking part in the stunts. However I did have a bit of a love hate relationship with Jeda and Benny at times. They're certainly a representation of both parts of ourselves, the part that wants to live wild and carefree and the part that feels pressure to be responsible and make other people happy. They learn from each other and kind of balance each other out, although at times I was a little frustrated by their lack of communication and rapid mood swings - surely I was never like that in my late teens/early twenties. Ahem. Still, it's a great writer who can make you feel so conflicted about characters who have almost become friends.
All my years reading crime novels had me trying to solve the mystery but it really did keep me guessing to the end - something I find rare these days, but highly enjoyable. Bad-ass babes chasing their dreams, racing cars, building motorbikes, meeting boys, struggling to come to grips with family secrets and a mysterious man in gray, all while trying to save an important and unlikely friendship that's certainly put to the test. This book has it all! I'll leave you with this passage, another favourite that makes me feel so calm and good when I read it.
"The colossally frustrating last few days fuelled Benny to kick-start her Triumph, something that usually took forever and even then, it sometimes still didn't start - the downside of a classic bike. But right now venting all that frustration on the kick lever felt pretty darned good. Once the bike warmed up, she strapped on her helmet and goggles, slid into her 1940s horsehide jacket, and took off in the dim morning light. The asphalt rushed by in a blur, the wind pushing against her body, the damp morning air forming a layer of moisture on her face. The longer she was on the bike, the more the garbage cluttering her head began to fall away. Funny how even the worst days could be calmed by a motorcycle ride - especially this time of morning when the freeways cruised at more than a crawl. The soothing vibration of the old twin brought her a much-needed sense of peace".
|Lori on the tailgate of her '48 Ford Truck Bondorella|
About The Author
An award winning television news photojournalist for NBC in Los Angeles, Lori has travelled around the globe, and had a front row seat to some of the most amazing and tragic events happening in our world today. Outside of news, she's also had the pleasure of working as principal photographer on several episodes of the half hour weekly show Travel Cafe, shooting in Fiji, Hong Kong, and Kauai, to name a few. She also completed a documentary on nationally renowned artist, Milford Zornes—one of the coolest human beings she's ever met.
Motor Dolls is her first published novel, with four other novels soon to follow. She lives in Southern California with her best feller, a whole bunch of misfit motorcycles, and of course, her ’48 Ford Truck, Bondorella.
You can pick up a copy Motor Dolls here, however because Lori is so kick-ass she's given me an extra copy to giveaway to one lucky reader! To win, leave a comment on this post telling me your most outrageous automotive stunt. Winner will be the answer that impresses or amuses me the most. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into. Entries close midnight 28 January 2014. Please ensure you leave an email address I can contact you on in case you are the winner!
07 January, 2014
Year of kicking ass that is! I’ve started this year off with a bang and I have to say I’m mighty pleased. Although I’ve let myself go a little over the holidays, I’m not beating myself up about it and I’m jumping head first into making this year amazing, making it everything I want it to be. Because after all, ultimately that is up to me. Which is why I kept my goals for this year simple, realistic, achievable and hugely beneficial with a little fun thrown in too. And so I’ve well and truly grabbed this year by the horns, and it’s only the first week in!
Last year was a pretty great year, there’s no denying that. I got to travel with work and I went on my first big overseas holiday and heck, a month in the US was pretty damn amazing! But because I loved it so much I wanted to go back, a new event and some new places to visit. But that meant proving to myself it wasn’t a fluke the first time around. Lately I had been starting to worry that maybe it was. Despite all my planning, I was beginning to worry if I’d be able to afford it. Why?
Naughty me had no budget. Just a vague idea of the bills that would be direct debited out of my account and the knowledge that a regular pay would be deposited into that account. Everything else in between was a haze of overspending on the weekends and buying things I like but don’t really need. Time to reign it in. One of my biggest goals this year is to become debt-free (excluding my HECS debt). The good news is that by the end of March I will own my car outright. No more Mr Bank, allll mine! That is super exciting to me, and will also free up a large chunk of funds every month to put towards paying off my debt AND saving for another big holiday to the US. Not too shabby!
Which brings me to my next goal, getting back to the US. Totally achievable! Especially since I sat down on the weekend and did up a budget. There is not a doubt in my mind that by the end of this year I will have gone back to the US for another big holiday AND have paid off all my other debts. I just have to stay disciplined. Which shouldn’t be too hard as long as I stick to my budget, which I’ve got pinned up on my wall to keep me on track and motivated. My US trip is planned for the beginning of August which is only 7 months away! I know it will go quickly and it will be a brilliant reward after being so strict with myself for several months. Which isn’t to say I won’t be knuckling down when I get home either.
That brings me to my next goal. A place of my own. While I’m not ready to buy anything, I’ve been living in share accommodation for about 4 years now and while it hasn’t exactly been the stuff of nightmares, it is starting to get on my nerves a little. I’m at a stage in my life where I want my own space, to do what I want when I want and not have to worry about anyone else. Not to mention, I just can’t wait to decorate my own little place. Ah, bliss! So that’s my final goal for 2014, to if not actually have my own place by the end of the year to at least be ready to move in the new year. Can. Not. Wait!
It’s only my second day back to work but already things feel great. I see good things on the horizon in all aspects of my life this year. Including starting things off right with a bit of a post-holiday detox. Nothing too crazy, just getting back into my exercise and eating right. My plan involves appropriate portion sizes, frequent meals/snacks, drinking lots of water and eating less processed crap and more natural foods. So far my daily meal plan features 2 slices of Vegemite toast for breakfast, a mid-morning snack of watermelon, a lunch of curry vege patty (yum!) and salad (including beans, toasted pine nuts, cucumber and other yummy things), an afternoon snack of carrot sticks and hummus (yum!) and a dinner of hoisin chicken kebabs and salad – my favourite! No suffering to see here, just good healthy eating and already I feel great!
This year is all about taking control of my life and actively pursuing my goals more than ever before. No negativity, no excuses, no doubting. If I’ve got a problem, I’ll solve it (check out my hook while the DJ revolves it) HA!
What do you think this year has in store for you?
24 December, 2013
Well 2013 sure has been an interesting year. It’s had its ups and downs but overall generally more ups than downs. I’ve learnt a lot, achieved a lot and changed a bit too. I’ve seen the world (well, parts of it anyway), got lots more tattoos, and rediscovered meaning in the things that I do and the way that I feel about myself.
The blog has seen some changes, there were new features and sponsors as well as a little bit of a quiet period while I found my mojo. The direction of the blog has certainly changed this year. I ended last year wanting to make this blog a total success story, but in the process I had forgotten what ‘success’ actually meant to me. I was chasing someone else’s dream. My trip to the US helped to put everything in perspective for me and I’m sure long term followers of this blog noticed the change. I good one I hope. It certainly feels that way to me.
While I wasn’t blogging as often, I tried to give you a regular insight into my daily life via outfit photos and candid snaps on Instagram. I was grateful for some amazing opportunities in both my work and personal life, including the opportunity to travel. I visited the USA, Fiji and the Whitsundays in the first 4 weeks of the year! I got out of my comfort zone and for the first time in my life as a real model for real clothing brands on a real website. I took stock of everything I had achieved in the first half of the year as I approached by 25th birthday.
I became very self-aware and very conscious of what I was contributing to the world and what I was potentially taking away. I visited Sydney for the first time and had an absolute ball! I announced I’d be heading back to the USA again next year and I scored an interview with one of my most favourite pin up models of all time – Dayna Delux!
2013 was such an incredible year that I’m so excited for 2014! I can’t wait to go back to the States, I’ve got my fingers crossed that work sends me somewhere new and exciting and I’ve got grand plans for some goals in my personal life including becoming debt-free, having a place of my own and travelling some more! I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas and the New Year and spend some quality time with family and friends. I absolutely LOVE this time of year!
But most of all, I am so grateful for having a wonderful place to share my ups and downs, my crisis of confidence, my achievements, my style finds, my random ramblings, my life. I am thankful for every single one of you that reads this blog, likes the Facebook page, follows me on Instagram and always have such kind words for me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and encouragement this year. I know it sounds a bit like a tacky awards show acceptance speech but really truly, I couldn't do this without you and I wouldn’t want to. You guys totally make this place what it is.
I also want to say a HUGE thank you to my wonderful blog sponsors for your belief in me – particularly Stars & Swallows who have been this blog’s biggest supporters this year, despite having a rapidly growing business of their own to look after and more recently, a growing family to keep them busy.
What a year of adventures for all of us! Was 2013 naughty or nice to you?