crazyjane: (reject reality)
We were in Chelsea yesterday, visiting [profile] fire_wuff's family for Xmas lunch. It was horrendously humid, although the Bureau of Meteorology was vaguely promising a thunderstorm for the evening. That was something to look forward to, I thought.

Yes, well.

As we left, it was just starting to rain. We thought we'd timed it pretty well - the rain had probably moved on from home and we'd have a good run. I pause for howls of derision in the light of hindsight.

Driving back along Eastlink, we got some fairly spectacular views of the two stormfronts that ... wait. Two?? Yep - one north-east, one west of us. We were in a weird little corridor of relatively clear sky between lightning on one side and a rain band that looked like an actual wall on the other. Still, running the gauntlet didn't seem like such a bad idea. And the scenery was fascinating.

But of course, roads wind, don't they? And suddenly we were no longer driving parallel to the storms, but right into one of them. At which point our scenic trip home turned into ... an adventure.

There was thunder cracking right overhead. There were lightning strikes everywhere, sometimes hitting simultaneously from all around us. And there was rain. Ye gods, was there rain.

Traffic on the freeway slowed to a crawl, but - Melbourne drivers being psychotically devoid of either awareness of others or a sense of self-preservation - it wasn't because visibility was reduced to approximately two inches beyond the windscreen. Oh, no. People were as impatient and dangerous as ever in that respect. No, it was the flash flood on the Eastern Freeway just past Doncaster Road. Aha, we thought, we'll just pop out onto Manningham Road. Cunning, no?

Except Manningham Road was also flooded.

So we eventually took a detour through Balwyn and Bulleen before inevitably meeting up with the traffic snarl in Heidelberg, and inched home. Meanwhile the skies merrily went about lending an air of apocalypse to the afternoon's festivities. There was some truly bedraggled tinsel hanging off the streetlights in Burgundy Street, I can tell you. But, hey, not to worry, the rain was slacking off. We'd come out the other side of the storm front.

You'd think we'd know better. The universe is perverse, and never more so than we hapless mortals like us figure we've got it all worked out.

We turned a corner - and ran into what I can only describe as a wall of rain. The downpour made the earlier storm look like a light sunshower by comparison. The wipers at full speed did little more than slosh around the water smashing into it and cascading off the roof. Then the hail started, and it seemed pretty much inevitable that we were about to lose our windscreen. The drains overflowed, and it seemed like only seconds before the dips in the road started flooding. Again with the thunder and lightning, adding to the incredible din of the hail and rain hitting the car. We started aqua-planing around corners. Right about then I became fast friends with the 'jesus handle' above the passenger door, and hung on for dear life.

Wuff, of course, was laughing like a maniac. And so were Lilygirl and Meglet.

We weren't driving fast, but with everything happening, it felt like we were hurtling through Reservoir, crashing through puddles up to nearly a metre deep and barely keeping our tyres on the road. All to the music of Lady Gaga.

Eventually we got home, and the rain slackened - to be greeted by possibly the most bedraggled, pathetic cat in existence. She was mightily miffed at us, and only just consented to let me towel her dry. Lilygirl and Meglet, of course, decided that it was exactly the right time to change into their swimmers and go puddle-jumping.

Which, I'm sure, was fun. And apparently was even more fun when the heavens opened again a few minutes later.

Wuff was apparently unable to resist the siren song of an utter drenching and raced out to join them.

Me? I stayed inside.

But we made it home safely, and the worst damage we sustained was when a rusted drain pipe fell off the garage wall and shattered. Oh, and the disgruntled sensibilities of our cat. We got lucky, apparently - there were plenty of pictures of broken windscreens and holed verandah canopies this morning, as well as the odd submerged taxi. It was a hell of an adrenaline ride, but we survived.

... And, being a glutton for punishment, Wuff decided to walk to the shop today and took a detour via Merri Creek. From this picture of the debris line, it looks like the creek levels got to over a metre above the path.

And on its way through, the water took out at least one tree:

Which was all very interesting, but I could have done without Wuff - who got soaked again in the relatively light rain - sharing the experience by rubbing his wet head all over me.

He's thoughtful, that way.

Meglet is convinced that this was the best Christmas ever. What worries me is that she'll now expect us to top this next year.

I'm not sure the planet would survive.
crazyjane: (me)
Of course, one had to make one's own amusement. Which one did. Via Twitter, and with the help of [personal profile] lokicarbis.

... I don't think any of this is treasonous.

The Beginning

Well, not actually the beginning, but I couldn't bear to watch the non-stop coverage from the previous day, including the dress rehearsal. I tuned in just in time to see the minor royals being herded into - of all things - maxi taxis for their ride to the Abbey. Classy.

I note the crowd are not exactly lining the streets. Perhaps they shouldn't keep going to the wide shot, so we can enjoy the illusion of crowds of royal well-wishers.

Then again, perhaps they shouldn't keep going to the close-ups. There are far too many American tourists festooned in souvenirs.

And, of course, we have the heart-warming sight of police eyeing off the crowds, armed with the Official Royal Wedding Automatic Rifle. Which will be on sale in all good Texas shops after the show.

The Arrivals

Nice to see the WAGS getting a bit of attention at this Brownlow - oh wait.

The ladies have strategically placed their satellite dishes on their heads to receive the 7PM Project's 'news coverage'

Clarence House informs us that the Royal Divorcees will arrive at the Abbey on their knees to be pelted with wedding cake by the crowd.

And here come Prince Andrew and his daughters. The Unseen Guest at the Wedding, Sarah Ferguson, is reportedly drowning her sorrows in a lot of gin right now. (Mind you, I can't help wondering how wonderfully catty it would be for her to do commentary on this event - because the BBC guy is boring me to tears. Out of solidarity with the Chaser, however, I will not be tuning in to Dame Edna or (god help me) Fitzy and Hughesy.)

Hmm, Princess Beatrice appears to be wearing apricot antlers to complement her outfit.

Or possibly a pretzel. Or a uterus. Or a tribute to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

And there's Her Nibs, resplendent in bright yellow. English commentator: 'Crowd suddenly realising just who it is in that car'. Oh dear. Captain Obvious has the conn.

Little known #royalwedding facts: the Queen's outfit is dyed with the blood of 1000 canaries.

Dear me, was that a House Cavalryman falling off his horse behind Her Nibs' car? I do believe it was.

How nice. The Archbishop and the Queen have co-ordinated outfits for the occasion. Pay no attention to the death glare Her Nibs is shooting out from under that hat.

Camilla leaves the car to general indifference from the crowd. Charles, meanwhile, channels his Dad with that outfit, while rubbing it in that he will get to be King.

And there's the Royal Snub as Her Nibs and Camilla arrive on the doorstep.

Queen (thinks): One is not impressed that one's hat is smaller than That Woman's. One will have words with one's maids.

A fanfare rings out suddenly, and several rows of elderly dignitaries expire from shock as Her Nibs enters the Abbey.

The Bride Arrives

(via @jenbennet) BREAKING NEWS: Bride wearing white, has bouquet.

Little-known #royalwedding facts: the lace on Kate's dress was sewn at the London School of Needlwork by poor orphan girls in smocks, who are just grateful for a bit of charity from the fine ladies.

I see no golden carriage. They promised us a golden carriage. Overthrow the monarchy!

From the speed of the bridal limo, the wedding's running late.

Inside the limo: Dad, I want to stop at Starbucks on the way there.

At the Abbey doorstep, Kate pauses to give the crowd a good eyeful while flower girls flutter around her, looking entirely unlike bluebirds of happiness. English commentator: 'They're just making sure everything is unsoiled and undamaged'. Oh dear. Where do they find these people?

Kate: 'Hello, peasants'. Kate's Dad: 'Not yet, dear.'

And a million sentimental saps go 'Awwwwwww' as the flower girls enter. Sadly, not one of them throws a tantrum or dumps an entire basket full of rose petals in a heap in front of the bride, creating the potential for the winner of Britain's Funniest Home Videos.

No meringue on that dress. Shame on Kate for not being a carbon copy of Diana. Actually, it looks like something I saw in a shop in Brunswick last week. No, really.

English commentator, gushing: 'I am beside myself, this is such a fashion moment'. I am literally helpless with laughter.

The Ceremony

As the bride begins her walk to the altar, the strains of 'Highway to Hell' ring out.

I wonder if the guests in the arms of the cathedral's cross got cheaper seats, or if they have a Third Umpire-style giant LCD screen with instant replay.

At the altar, Prince Harry looks dishevelled and disreputable after menacing bridesmaid Pippa Middleton in the vestry. He appears to be possessed by the spirit of Prince Hal from Henry IV Part 1. Meanwhile, Wills, having misplaced his mourning coat and cravat, has quickly nipped out to the local costume shop to borrow an outfit from last Christmas' panto production of The Nutcracker.

Twelve ... hours ... later ... (That's one long aisle)

Proof this wedding isn't directed by Disney, despite the inexplicable presence of suspiciously green trees in the Abbey: no bluebirds. The strategic placement of the choirboys behind the red lamps, however, creates the amusing illusion that they are each, in fact, wearing a fez.

Wills appears to be stuck in a giggle loop. It may have something to do with Harry leaning over to whisper, 'Phwoar, you're in tonight, mate!' as Kate sailed up the aisle.

Oh no, apparently he only said, 'She looks beautiful'. Stupid lip-readers. Spoil all my fun.

The congregation launches into 'Guide Me, O Thou Great Reedemer', and there isn't a dry eye in the house.

Her Nibs (thinks): One is unsure if it is a touching tribute or simply bad taste to choose the same hymn as was played at one's daughter-in-law's funeral.

The Archbishop of Canterbury (hereafter known as the Dude in the Frock and Big Hat) sweeps forward to speak in forbiddingly plummy tones about the Dreadful Day of Judgment.

Harry (thinks): Total buzzkill. Why can't we have the guy from The Princess Bride instead?

Sir Elton - the other Queen - is visibly moved. One can hear him composing another mawkish tribute song in his head.

The ring is placed upon Kate's finger - or rather, forcibly rammed onto it. You'd think the Royal Jewellers might have measured it first. Apparently, Wills doesn't get a ring.

I visibly restrain myself from making 'one ring to rule them all' jokes.

Kate (sotto voce): 'If my finger drops off, don't think you're getting any, soldier boy.'

Hm, we appear to have duelling Archbishops. Or Bishops. Whatever. Dudes in frocks.

Little-known #royalwedding facts: In keeping with Prince Charles' 'green' consciousness, the ecclestiastical vestments used today will be recycled to upholster couches for the poor.

And forsooth, the vows are exchanged. It's all very Shakespearian - only without the sudden but inevitable betrayals by the Prince's younger brother (who is speculating on his chance of another quick visit to the vestry with Pippa Middleton), and far too little bloodshed. On long speeches, though, it's right on the money.

'Betwixt' - there's a word you don't hear often enough.

James Middleton - who bears the sad little title of 'Bride's Brother' - ascends to the lectern to read a pithy Bible verse. Apparently, someone forgot to put the box behind the lectern for him to stand on. He's barely visible.

Her Nibs takes the opportunity for a quick Nanna Nap as the Duelling Clergyman vie for the title of 'Most Boring Speaker'. Prince Phillip, an early contender for that honour, is clearly disgruntled.

Meanwhile, Pippa, surrounded by flower girls, appears to be dying for a toilet break.

Even the camera is bored. It's going for a wander. Hey, wait - isn't that the technique they use in filming US football, where they swoop the camera on a wire down the aisle? Classy.

Spotto in the audience: Prime Minister Gillard in yet another white blazer ... Ian Thorpe, who appears to be speculating on whether there's still time to hip-and-shoulder Kate aside and declare his undying love for Wills ... oh look, a Roman Catholic monsignor and an Orthodox priest in the naughty corner behind the ferns. And more fascinators than Oaks Day.

Short guy stuck behind really huge hat: 'Well, I'm having a dandy time.'

New theory on Beatrice's hat: it's actually a magical sigil to enable her to summon the Dread Elder Gods to wreak terrible revenge on Prince Andrew for giving her Sarah Ferguson for a mother.

Exit, Stage Right

That's one smug bride.

Kate (thinks): There are going to be some changes in the Palace now that I'm a Duchess. For a start, those hat of Beatrice's has got to go.

Oh, look, the golden carriage! I take it all back, the monarchy can stay.

And the crowd goes wild as the carriage speeds off through the streets. Meanwhile, back at the Abbey, Her Nibs is wondering who made off with her ride back to the Palace.

Several thousand police to the onlookers: 'Wave those bloody flags, peasants, or we'll 'ave you down the Tanty!'

Back at the Abbey, several guests are killed in the stampede for the Port-a-loos round the back. Eye injuries from dangerously tilted hats figure prominently in the casualty list. At last, the true reason for Beatrice's choice of hat is revealed: it enables her to lower her head and charge like a bull through the crowds of ladies heading for the toilets.

Her Nibs: One is not riding home in an Anglican Popemobile. One wants to know where one's carriage has got to.

Really, should they be playing 'God Save the Queen' as Kate and Wills clop by? It's a tad premature.

The Kiss

Hah. Like I'm going to comment on that.

... And so finally, finally it's over. And, not unlike a Logies awards show, there were a lot of dresses, far too much fatuous commentary and a lot of wondering why events like these can turn fervent feminists and republicans into squeeing fangirls.

I leave you with this, my personal candidate for Best Wedding Moment, which actually took place well after everyone had gone - the Amazing Cartwheeling Verger. It's the sheer shock and outrage from the BBC commentator that makes this particularly special, I think:

crazyjane: (special snowflake)
So, I figured that if I was going to mock the horrendously succesful Twilight series, I'd better do it with full knowledge. I'd read scraps here and there, but finally decided to bite the bullet and read the thing.

So I did. That's several hours of my life I'll never get back. Not only is the story full of more holes than your average colander - the writing is just terrible!

There was really only one thing to do to make it all worthwhile. Write a parody.

Any phrases you see in quotes are actual lines from the story. I shit you not. I couldn't make up stuff that bad.

So, without further ado ...

Twilight - via the mind of crazyjane

Twilight Roll Call!

BELLA: Hi, I'm Bella. I'm 17 but I talk like a 40 year old. When my Mom remarried I decided to voluntarily exile myself to this podunk little town with my Dad so they could be together cos I'm just that awesome. I'm clumsy and bookish and jump to conclusions easily.

EDWARD: I'm Edward. I'm mysterious. Don't make me glare at you. Also, I sparkle.

JACOB: Hi, I'm Jacob, also known as Exposits-With-Wolves. I'm the token hot Native American in this book. Way hotter than Edward. Also, curiously hairless. Did I mention I'm hotter than Sparkle Boy?

BOYS FROM SCHOOL: Hi. We're boys. We totally lust after Bella because she's new and fresh.

GIRLS FROM SCHOOL: Hi. We're girls. We are still friends with Bella even though all the boys are totally lusting after her and she's a total weirdo.

CULLENS: Hi, we're vampires. 'Nuff said.

The Story (such as it is)

Bella arrives at her Dad's place.

BELLA: Oh woe, here I am exiled to this horrible place, even though I did it voluntarily to give my Mom time with her new squeeze, cos I'm noble and thoughtful and not at all a typical teenaged girl. Oh woe is me, however will I cope with being around all these hicks, and stop worrying about my 'loving, erratic, harebrained mother' and - oh hey, truck! Is that for me?

BELLA's DAD: Welcome to Forks, Bella. Now get in the kitchen and cook for me.

At school

BOYS: Wow, you're totally hot and we are just bowled over by your amazing city-fied beauty. Can we carry your books and sit with you and be puppy-dogs?

BELLA: Whatever. Not interested. (falls over own feet)

GIRLS: Hey Bella, come and be friends with us. Maybe we can get your rejects. We are typical high school girls and clearly not mindless sycophant losers who are so desperate for boyfriends we'll happily be sloppy seconds at all.

CULLENS: *brood*

EDWARD: *sniffs Bella*

BELLA: Um, hello?

EDWARD: *snarl* *flounce*

BELLA: Whatever. Not interested.

EDWARD: What if I save you from this convenient car accident with my super-speed and shoulders of flexi-strength?

BELLA: You must be a superhero!

EDWARD: *facepalm*


BELLA: Oh woe, I cannot get him out of my mind. He is a total loser and flounces everywhere and I think I'm in love. Even if he does wear beige. And treat me like dirt. Especially because he treats me like dirt. I'm so liberated.

BOYS: *sulk*

GIRLS: We're still over here, boys. Available. Hello?

BELLA: Oh boys, go play with the other girls.

BOYS: Sure, Bella. We can all be friends and we'll be happy with second-best.

GIRLS: Thanks, Bella, you are totally a BFF and not a snobby cow who palms off her rejects onto us.

BELLA: (trips over invisible log)

At the beach

JACOB: Hi, I'm the interesting but kinda sappy kid from the reservation. I don't know you but I feel somehow compelled to tell you strange legends from Our People. I guess that's why they call me Exposits-With-Wolves.

BELLA: Whatever.

JACOB: So anyway, our people are descended from wolves, that is to say, WEREwolves, did I mention WEREWOLVES? And the Cullens are vampires. Which is why they can't come to our beach. Trust me.

BELLA: OMG I've just met you but you are SO RIGHT. I must run away and angst now. But carefully in case I fall over. Again.

JACOB: Hello? Bare chest and long hair? And did I mention WEREWOLF?

BELLA: Whatever. Not interested.

JACOB: *facepaw*


BELLA: Okay, angsting over. The power of Google has convinced me that Edward is a vampire even though I've only ever seen him in daylight. Because he talks funny and is a snob with lots of different coloured contact lenses. So I'm just going to keep pining after him even though he totally treats me like dirt. Especially cos he treats me like dirt. Cos that's what I deserve, being a girl.

In some slightly less podunk town, buying clothes

BELLA: Wow, on a girlie shopping trip - 'the oestrogen rush is invigorating'. Excuse me, girls, I'm just going over to this scary part of town ALL BY MYSELF.

BAD GUYS: Y halo thar cuteypie. Kin we play witchoo??

BELLA: (runs, miraculously failing to fall over)

EDWARD: Quick, get in my Volvo of Sparkledom!

BELLA: How did you know I needed help?

EDWARD: I've been stalking you.

BELLA: That's so romantic.**

Later, in some meadow, possibly in Iowa, but definitely not in foggy northern Washington State

EDWARD: Bella, I cannot get over your smell. You smell like lavender ... or freesias ... or some other flower entirely.

BELLA: ...

EDWARD: And your amazing powers of deduction. You figured out that I'm a vampire. But now you must run away for I am evil and will EAT YOU and sparkle.

BELLA: (gazing into Edward's eyes) I loooooooove you.

EDWARD: Did I mention VAMPIRE?

BELLA: (sigh)

EDWARD: Oh whatever. Come and meet my vampire family.

At the spooky Cullen house on the hill

EDWARD: Vampire Mom, Vampire Dad, this is my human, Bella. And these are my vampire siblings.

CULLENS: Helloooo, breakfast.

EDWARD: STOP that. So, Vampire Mom, I wanna get married.

CULLENS: Whatever.

EVIL VAMPIRE TRACKER: Har har, I appear from nowhere to menace you! I love your smell! I wanna EAT YOU!

EDWARD: Quick! We outnumber him five to one, so the only thing to do is overreact completely! You must leave immediately so we can try to inject some tension into this godawful book. I'm sending you to Phoenix where you'll be totally safe. And we must be apart from each other so that I can go and be heroic while you languish in a motel room.

BELLA: But I wanna go with yooooooooouuu ...

EDWARD: Our love will span the miles. Besides, I won't be tempted to eat you.

In a motel in Phoenix

BELLA: So, Vampire Sibling, how does one, um, become a vampire?

CULLEN SIBLING: I see what you're doing there.

BELLA: It's called foreshadowing, hello?

EVIL VAMPIRE TRACKER ON PHONE: Har har, I have your Mom. Come alone to the ballet studio so I can eat you.

BELLA: Nooo, I will do everything you say and rush to my certain death! Okay. Now Vampire Sibling, don't use your eerie psychic powers to find out that I'm going to give you the slip and go to meet my certain death, okay?

CULLEN SIBLING: Fine. Whatever. (paints nails)

In a ballet studio in Phoenix++

EVIL VAMPIRE TRACKER: Har, har! Fooled you. No Mom. Now I will torture you and videotape it and post it on YouTube so Edward can see it and cry in his girlie vampire socks.

BELLA: Noooooooo you tricked me!

EVIL VAMPIRE TRACKER: (throws Bella around the studio, admiring his artistic handiwork)

BELLA: Dying now ...

EDWARD: Fear my dramatic entrance! Dammit, she's unconscious, so the reader will never know about my leet fighting skills.

CULLEN SIBLINGS: (who appear out of nowhere) Wow, she's been bitten and will now turn into a vampire. Who could have seen that coming?

BELLA: Nifty.

EDWARD: Nooooooooooo! Even though I love you and cannot bear to lose you, I cannot condemn you to the hell of being gorgeous and sparkly and living forever! I will now prove how much I love you by sucking out the vampire venom and not actually chowing down on your floral blood!

BELLA: (sulks)

In hospital

BELLA'S MOM: Oh Bella, you are so clumsy! How could you fall down the stairs like that? And who's this boy? And what are you doing in Florida? And how could I have left you alone, oh my poor baby ...

BELLA: Way to milk the scene, Mom.

BELLA'S MOM: I get four lousy pages, now shut up and let me emote. By the way, you can come home and live with me and your new Daddy.

BELLA: Um, no, I'm staying in the podunk town.

BELLA'S MOM: (eyeing Edward) This wouldn't have something to do with that weirdo who's lurking in the corner, would it?

BELLA: (gazing soulfully at Edward) Whatever makes you think that, Mom?

Much later

BELLA: So, um, not that I don't like your family, but when they start dressing me up like a doll and doing my hair and all I think we need to talk about boundaries, y'know? And incidentally, you're wearing a tuxedo and you won't tell me where we're going? Are we getting married?

EDWARD: What? No!

BELLA: I know! You're going to make me into a vampire!

EDWARD: Oh, 'you think that would be a black tie occasion'? NO. I told you that will never happen - or at least not for a few sequels, anyway.

BELLA: (sulks) So where are we going?

EDWARD: I'm taking you to the prom. Where you will dance.

BELLA: Noooooooooooooooooo, you are an evil monster after all!

EDWARD: I tried to tell you ...

(You'd think that was the end, wouldn't you? There are three sequels. But I will spare you the parodies of those. Mostly because I couldn't bear reading them in the first place.)

** (Me: Any normal girl would tell him he's one step away from a restraining order, but noooo ....)

++ (Me: Presumably because the final fight can be spectacularly visual. Pity it's barely described, apart from a few lines about how pretty the mirrors look when they're cracked by the impact of Bella's head.)
crazyjane: (reject reality)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] scarlettheartt! I know just what to get you, too ...

Heh. Heh. Heh.

And belatedly - many squidly returns to the late great H.P. Lovecraft for yesterday. The man without whom we would not have a cephalod mania possessing the net (and many of my friends) ... it's a contribution that too often goes unappreciated.

... Yes, I'm tired and silly.
crazyjane: (reject reality)
There's just something so incredibly surreal about reading that a tsunami warning has been issued for Tasmania and the south-east coast of Australia.

In fact, I'm having trouble taking it seriously.

... All the same, um, any of my friends who live near Lakes Entrance? Please stay away from the water for a while.
crazyjane: (reject reality)
So ... Torchwood has started up again. Set in Cardiff. (Loving it, btw.)

And the Ashes series are currently being played. In Cardiff.

Waitaminnit ...

Where's the cricketer/Jack slash?! Hmmm??

I'm looking at you, [personal profile] expoduck and [profile] pluto_pup.

August 2017

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