Cool Stuff Sunday: Extreme Bumper Edition

PALS, it has been a long time since I posted and I AM SORRY you have been deprived so long of my inanities. Anyway, we’re here for the gemstones of the internet, and I have… too many to share, so strap yourselves in:

The Simpsons is like an older brother (by two years if you’re counting): incredibly cool, funny in a way you can never be, and the nostalgia for better days becomes overwhelming after 30.  Recently, Junkee published this sterling piece on the everlasting magic of Marge Simpson and I gotta tell ya, they’re not wrong.

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Continuing the Simpsons theme for a sec: have you joined the Lisa Simpson Book Club? It’s way better than the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge because it has precisely zero Rory Gilmore involvement. There are also only 22 books on the list so far, so it’s a manageable, attainable number of books to read ❤ ❤ ❤

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This year seems to be the year my best friends live MY travel dreams. In February, one of them spent 6 weeks crossing the country of India, and yesterday another landed in Dublin. My jealously is off the charts, so I’ve withheld this list of tips for travelling around Ireland in your 20s because I am absolutely that petty.

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My obsession with anything The Cusp publishes continues in this piece on shaking up your routines in a fun, positive way (as opposed to the shit option? idk).

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This post from The Mary Sue on The Bi Eye was good but also, just because it’s happened once or twice, doesn’t mean we get to not make more bi stories that go beyond two women fucking. And let’s not make them all female bi stories, because HELLO men can be bi as well. I am always invested in female-driven narratives, and never ever want to divert from the goal to get more ladies on screens, but often when women are shown to be bisexual, it’s under the male gaze which doesn’t necessarily touch on the nuance of whatever kind of relationship is being portrayed — a lot of bi babes in film make out because dudes get off on women kissing women, not because is true to the character or the storyline necessarily. And that’s what drives me mental about bi representation in entertainment (and what I have tried to navigate in my screenplay) — being attracted to the same-sex is just as complicated as being attracted to the opposite, but with the added layer of scrutiny by people who’ve got nothing to do with you, your sexuality or your love life. ANYWAY. Good talk.

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Earlier this week, my all-time favourite band released what is very likely their final albumScience Fiction. It’s incredibly hard to choose just one track to highlight below, but TODAY’s top pick is Could Never Be Heaven in all its Morrissey-esque glory.

Can you speak my secret name and fix me? 
Lordgod. I won’t survive if this is the end BUT WHAT AN END.

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Here in Australia, one of the last countries in Western civilisation to embrace marriage equality, we are entering stage two of an unnecessary, costly, voluntary, non-binding, embarrassing postal vote plebiscite on the topic. This week was the deadline to get your name on the electoral roll or update your details, thereby giving you the chance to tell this government what a shitheap it is and how much we value our queer community. Now the campaigns for each side begin. It won’t be pretty, or fair, or respectful like our politicians have promised us. We’ve already seen that. And it will be… unfathomable, the future for queers, if the majority vote against. Thinking about it all now, I genuinely cannot begin to contemplate that outcome. Ugh. No matter the result though, it’s fair to say heterosexuality is not the wave of the future.

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Did you know it’s Romance Awareness Month? Take a look at this excellent bunch of romance authors talking about why exactly romance novels are more than just sex and candy (sorry i hate that song but it just worked okay sue me)

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If you’re feeling a bit shit about the world at the moment (fair!) and you just want to forget for a minute that Nazis are properly back now, head over to Junkee for this A+++++++++ list of feel-good TV shows to dig into. Aside from Gilmore GIrls, I rate pretty much every show mentioned. Get on it.

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Okay one last Simpsons link for the week I swear. Did you know that a woman wrote the first ever episode? The story about why you probably didn’t is annoyingly rooted in sexism in Hollywood (yawn) but also OMG HECK YEAH MIMI POND.

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When I first moved to Sydney six months ago, I spent a lot of time with the TV on whatever tolerable show I could find during moments (/weeks) of homesick/sadness. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the time Food Network won the battle. Particularly when Junior Chopped was on (like I swear to god, eating a burnt cheese toastie while 28 and crying on your mate’s couch while watching 11-year-olds make perfect fluffy souffle’s truly is something). ANYWAY Junior Chopped is hosted by Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri, who happens to be the internet’s arch-nemesis from what I can tell? And after weeks of watching Guy gently and constructively mentor young hopefuls through gruelling rounds of food artistry, I began to wonder why. Looks like I’m not the only one — Shane Torres’ bit on El Fuego is primo:

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This incredible footage of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner belting out perennial Rob Thomas/Santana classic, Smooth, is absolutely sublime.

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Lastly (because holy heck we’ve covered a lot of ground today, kids), if you’re in need of some personal financial guidance — aren’t we all — check out these six books that might set you on the path to your fortune, or at least not scrimping for the four days before payday.

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Review: 11 things about my Wonder Woman experience

1. The cinema I went to, on a Wednesday evening at dinner time, was literally full. As I walked past the session times board, a message flashed up: “2 seats left!”
As a former cinema employee, this is astounding in itself.

2. While the movie itself isn’t flawless, the insane female empowerment levels absolutely made up for any obvious villains, boring men being boring, or wobbly CGI still present. Continue reading

credit: https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/05/11/new-poster-baby-driver-gorgeous/

Review: Wright on, wrong driver, Baby

About a month ago, the company I work for got an invite to a special preview screening of a film called Baby Driver. I’d never heard of it, not seen a trailer, didn’t know it existed until this invitation arrived in my inbox, and tbh, the poster looked bleh so I didn’t rush to check it out. Then I saw the name Edgar Wright. Made huge by his directorial ties to Simon Pegg/Nick Frost classics Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (plus others but these are the best), Wright has established himself as man who creates fun, frenetic and just plain cool shit for the big screen. After that, I was all about whatever the fuck Baby Driver was. Continue reading

Cool Stuff Sunday

This is THE LEAST Hugh you’ve ever been. At the same time, though, there is enough deep-set, emotionally messed up Hugh to keep us hanging on. When he lies about how the duck died in the pond, we’re like, ‘there’s the Hugh we know!’ and collectively laugh along as he manipulates all those women.

Laughing forever at this excellent Top 5 list of Hugh Grant films to make you feel love again.

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Low on funds but don’t want your social life to suffer? Here are a handful of genuinely great ideas to keep your party going while your profits climb.

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Everybody at some point in their life feels like they’re a giant fraud–whether that’s in love, at work, or just generally in life. It happens, and if you’re going through it right now, take heart that you’re not alone. You’re also SO NOT A FRAUD! FastCompany have some techniques to help you identify your version of imposter syndrome and combat the shit out of it.

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Did you ever fancy yourself in Longbourn, the house the Bennet’s occupied in the BBC mini-series adaptation of Pride & Prejudice? Same. Let’s pool our moneys and get our freaking hands on it then! Come on, it can be like time share. I’ll take it from August ’til January, and you can have the rest.

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Lastly for today, take 12 minutes out of your day for this incredible video on the adaptation process for Arrival–one of the best films of 2016. If you’ve any mind for writing or film, you need to see this.

Cool Stuff Sunday

Two weeks ago I went back to Brisbane to spend time with my mum, and to make use of my ticket to see the utterly incomparable Hans Zimmer live with a friend. The depth and scope of his work in cinema over his lifetime is astounding. We both absolutely nerded the fuck out when our favourite scores were played, because sometimes music affects you to your bone marrow. I will never get over the way I feel when I hear the below, nor the fact I heard it live with my own ears while my eyes stared, overwhelmed, at the man who created it and the musicians who brought it to life. Thank you Hans. What an extraordinary evening.

Play this at my funeral.

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I think Johnny Depp is well past his use-by date. Not only have his last, oh, bajillion, performances sucked, but he’s an absolute mess in interviews now (that Ellen show thing made me queasy) and his rep as a human is obviously pretty fucked after the “alleged” abuse against Amber Heard. Anyway. I’m over him as a person and as a concept, and aside from the fact I’m forced to watch his Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts, I actively try to steer clear of films he has a role in. This article by The Hollywood Reporter had me gasping aloud though; an absolutely fascinating investigation of Depp’s spiral out of favour/out of money.

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YA wunderkinds Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon talk to MTV about the importance and underestimation of YA fiction in pop culture.

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My obsession with everything The Cusp publishes continues with these four tips to keeping on top of your health at work. As someone who often writes “look after yourself” at the bottom of the incessant to do list of life, these are simple and easy things to keep in mind/implement.

Credit: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/7767604/paramore-harry-styles-sign-of-the-hard-times-new-songs, http://weheartit.com/entry/group/28536313, http://weheartit.com/entry/group/40978817

Review: how is it possible I like Harry Styles’ new album more than Paramore’s?

I am twoseven rotations into Harry Styles’ self-titled debut album, and I never in my life imagined I could care this much about a member of OneDirection, ever. I was never their target demographic. But there is something otherworldly about Harry’s excellent and un-autotuned voice paired with a searing bluesy riff that I can’t quite articulate. And, in essence, I am very confused.

Continue reading

Cool Stuff Sunday

Hello again darlings! It’s been a little while since I posted, so I’m sorry for skipping a few months. There’s been a few significant personal changes afoot, but I’m back for the week.

Let’s kick today off with this wonderful #longread by Gillian Dooley over at The Conversation on the enduring strength of Jane Austen, and the reasons why her works are much more than ‘courtship novels’.

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Continuing with bookish links and general heroes, take a look at every book Emma Watson (AKA Hermione Granger AKA Belle AKA my OG kween) has ever recommended in the public sphere. *cries* why are there so many books to be read!? My shelves are breaking!

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This wonderful piece on queerness over at Catalogue Mag is what I wish I could have read when I was 13.

There hasn’t been an easy answer to this question, because the world hasn’t made it an easy one to ask in the first place. But honestly, I don’t think you need to know if you are gay, or not. We’ve known for a really long time that sexuality is sliding scale but that doesn’t get enforced in our education, or societal conditioning, because queerness pretty much evades all the shitty pigeon-holing that keeps capitalism in place. So chill, I know! You don’t need to be ‘sure’ of anything to identify as queer. The strange, hetero prerequisite that you have to ‘know where you stand’ – be it bi, or 80% or only in movies, or when you masturbate, or 20% – only exists because of the pervasive, dangerous fear of the ‘other’. Going back to dominant cultures: they have to label everything because if it isn’t immediately ‘understood’ then it doesn’t exist. This is BS. You don’t need to be ‘sure’ of anything. Be mutable! Fall in love at will, in big and small ways! All ways! Remember: no one is ever asking straight folk to prove themselves.

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And because I can’t go a week without talking about music (ps, Paramore’s ‘after laughter’ album review in the works) here’s an oral history of Hanson’s debut album Middle of Nowhere. Don’t pretend you don’t fucking love MMMBop. It’s pop perfection.

Cool Stuff Sunday

The bloody Oscar nominations are out and I am SO HAPPY because Tanna has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film! I’m also stoked for Land of Mine, a Scandinavian film on the clearing of landmines from the coastlines of Europe after the second World War, and the fact that Arrival (a genre film) has been given a nod for Best Feature. Literally cried that Lin-Manuel Miranda has the chance to become the youngest EGOT recipient ever for his track How Far I’ll Go from the Moana soundtrack, and that Lion–an Australian film!–has been recognised across multiple categories. Speaking of Lion, are you wondering why Dev Patel has been relegated to the Best Supporting Actor nominee when he is clearly a lead? Take a look at this piece by Stephen A Russell for SBS on the push for a new category to recognise the contribution of stellar casts

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I grew up listening to a pretty eclectic collection of music thanks to my punk Dad and my hippie Mum. Van Morrison was on frequent rotation, and I know that my mum will weep desperately when he stops making music (ie dies because he’ll never stop tbh). Anyway, BBCRadio ran a program last week on the influence of Van’s incredible career, and it is magic (Glen Hansard is my foreverking and I never tire of his rendition of Into The Mystic). If you’re a Brown Eyed Girl like me, catch it before the link expires on February 20!

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Adaptations are swell when they’re done right. But with such a wealth of top-notch literature coming out of Australia, why aren’t we (or any other filmmaking country for that matter) optioning more of it for screen? Mark Poole looked into this over at The Guardian back in 2014, but it’s just as relevant today.

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Anne Gracie is by far one of my favourite romance writers, and all-round excellent human being. Over on her blog, she’s got tips on procrastination, beating perfectionism and getting on with your writing. Thanks Anne!

Cool Stuff Sunday

Okay so I’m gonna caveat this link with the statement that some of the opinions in this article about self-publishing in order to live as a veritable nomad are laughable (traditional publishing is not dying, you utter bellend), BUT, I read this and felt semi-inspired to get back into my writing projects, so thought I’d share.

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On that, are you looking for more opportunities to spend some time focused on your writing projects? Aerogramme Writers Studio have collated this maaaaaaassive list of writing residencies and fellowships in 2017 from around the globe. BRB, applying for all the things.

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YouTube came the fuck through for me with this UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE Hollywood Reporter roundtable with two of my husbands, Donald Glover and Lin-Manuel Miranda, PLUS Damien Chazelle (of Whiplash and La La Land directorial fame), fierce kween Issa Rae (*dies*) and everyone’s favourite dad, Jon Favreau. Holy HECK this was the best hour of my week BY FAR.

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And lastly for today, over on Junkee, Rebecca Varcoe takes a look at the disparity of experience in the arts. So much of this rings true, but, I don’t know what’s next. Lots to ponder.

Cool Stuff Sunday

Did you take your Myers-Briggs personality test yet? No? Okay well go do it and learn some shit about yourself. THEN, head to this brilliant Psychology Junkie article to identify your stressors. It gives incredibly useful tips about reacting to and relieving stress according to each personality type. As an ISFJ, this is too real and terrifyingly so.

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I fucking love Too Many Zooz after catching a video of them busking in the subway. I share that video every time it comes up in my Facebook feed, to the extent that my friends and fam now tag me whenever they see TMZ or Lucky Chops clips. Today, in the comment thread on a Lucky Chops performance I’ve seen a couple of times, I found this freaking GEM of Too Many Zooz busking at Christmas time. There are many santas and elves splashing cash and it’s all very adorable. Do yourself a favour and spend 10 minutes on this atrocious display of talent. The mind boggles, really.

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Everyone in the world who has a brain and/or emotions is grappling with the feelings that are accompanying the imminent departure of dream team Barack Obama and Joe Biden from The White House. To ease your suffering, take a look at this recap of some of the best Obaden memes from the last few months.

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For the last month or so, I’ve been bingeing on The Hook Up–a podcast of the Triple J segment that airs every Sunday night. The podcast, hosted by supermegababe Hannah Reilly, covers all manner of topics to do with sex, relationships and everything in between and it is bloody excellent. Even episodes dealing with topics I’d never thought to look into further (the recent show on living with HIV for example) are enlightening, funny and incredibly moving in some instances, and provide perspectives that maybe you didn’t know you needed to hear. Go check it.

Cool Stuff Sunday

Kicking off today with this blistering piece over on Junkee about just how important intersectional feminism is ❤

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The Urban List has done up a handy (and also Expedia-sponsored) list of tips for when you’re thinking about planning your next trip overseas. Get packing!

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When I was roadtripping around England with my Mum, we stopped in Winchester for a number of reasons. One of them was to glimpse the famed Round Table of the Arthurian Legends, but as luck would have it, The Great Hall was closed the day we passed through. Good job, life. Anyway, if the words “arthurian legends” or “round table” mean nothing to you, The Conversation has enlisted Arthurian scholar Amy Brown to talk us through the basics of the stories.

For good measure, here’s the ridiculous but infinitely watchable trailer for Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur adaptation, set for release in March.

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Are you vaguely terrible with money? Perhaps you’re like me and have almost always none because shitty wage + outrageous cost of living is fucked? Here are eight tips to help you kick your year off right.

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I am literally dying with excitement about these 12 Australian films to catch in 2017. Lion was by far one of the most moving and honest things I’ve ever seen, so I can’t wait to see what else is in store for filmgoers this year.

Cool Stuff Sunday: New Years edition

Holy shit guys, we’ve finally made it! Good-fucking-bye to you, 2016; see you in the seventh circle of hell!

New year, new stuff. Have a bunch of great ways to kick off your 2017.

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Make sure you’re practicing some self-care this year. We’ve all had a shithouse time of it for the last 365 days, so pull your socks up and employ some of these tips to look after yourselves, babes ❤

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Something that wasn’t shit about 2016 was the amount of incredible literature published. The Guardian asked some of Australia’s best-loved authors for their tops picks from 2016.

On the topic of “best of 2016” lists: the 50 best podcasts, and the 10 worst movies!

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Make a resolution to get off your butt and get healthy this year? I probably did. Find your new running track in Brisbane here, take a holiday for your health here, pack better work lunches here, and if you just wanna work on yourself in the privacy and comfort of your own home, here are 5 core strengthening exercises that require only one thing: a wall.

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If you want to travel more in 2017, get reading:

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And finally, if you’ve set your sights on the dating scene, or just need some new ideas to enliven date night with your number one bae (I’m so sorry, I wrote this in 2016 and bae will definitely never appear in any future CSS posts), The Cusp have put together some super ideas that won’t empty your wallet.

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Go forth into the bright sunshine of a new year my sweet babies. You deserve it x