Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Staycation Galore

IMG_6173 by you.
This has nothing to do with this post - just a random tit-flashing girl on a train.  Notice she has no bag/purse - cos with those bangers on display, she'll never need to pay for anything...

So I had a week off last month but being that we're in the middle of economic meltdown and I have zero money to my name, I was not jetting off to exotic locales anytime soon.  Rather, I engaged in the very on-trend practice of the Staycation.  Staying at home as a vacation!  What fun.  Luckily for me I live in a tourist destination, so I figured I might as well take avantage and get my tourist on.  I went to museums, art galleries, parks, restaurants etc. - but of course only the cheap ones or the ones at which I could blag membership through my work.  The key was to have as much fun as possible without any of the monetary funding one usually requires.

I also went a bit picture crazy - mostly at two of my favorite destinations from the week - Madam Tussauds (special 2-for1 offer from Walkers) and the HMS Belfast (special 2-for1 offer from National Rail).
To be brutally honest I wasn't exactly brimming with excitement over HMS Belfast - as a military kid I've sort of seen my fair share of war ships/war planes/war museums (and actual war if dad got drunk enough! ha!).  But at the same time, it sorta made me feel like a kid again and as it was a miserable day weather-wise the thing was empty which was glorious.  Turns out, I thoroughly enjoyed myself - HMS Belfast is now officially recommended by me for any vistitors to London.

Anyways - the real excitement came with the pictures of course, they really went to town with the waxworks at this place.  It took us 4 hours to get through the whole ship actually (it she has 9 decks!) and this was due in no small part to the endless picture opportunities, only some of which I've included here.  And there were hardly any other patrons when we were around, EVERYONE else you see in the pictures, aside from Tudds and I, are wax works.  It was so much fun, I can't recommend it enough as a day out.  However, be prepared - after the 4 hours deep in the stomach of this nautical beast, I was so ready to come out into air.  We both started to feel a bit of cabin fever which only served to make us all the more grateful that we'll never have to live and work in that thing.  Oh - and get the earphones thing! It's free and you learn so much more!  Remember kids - it's all about infotainment!  Funducation all around!

IMG_6225 by you.

IMG_6229 by you.

IMG_6227 by you.
As you can see, we showed our we're-really-doing-stuff-here modeling skills.
I saw a few other peeps just taking snaps of themselves next to these things.  Stood rigid and half-smiling.  I do not see the point in this, perhaps they were involved in a competition to produce the most boring holiday album of the year.  In my view if you can interact in any way with your surroundings for the picture, then you bloody well should!  What's the point of being on a war ship if you can't pretend that you're, y'know, fighting in a war!

IMG_6238 by you.
Here we are with our friend Nigel, he's going through a tough time so we're visiting him in the medical quarters.  We're hoping he pulls through, but dysentry sucks...

IMG_6232 by you.
This is how they treated the homosexuals back then, put 'em behind a sheet of plexi-glass to navigate, but don't let anyone see their dick-sucking lips....

IMG_6237 by you.
Okay, so this was meant to look like I was pointing at what I wanted, right?  Upon further inspection, it looks as though I'm suggesting a lewd sexual practice in lieu of payment.  For a waxwork, he looks pretty aroused...

IMG_6230 by you.
"...So I said, 'Lay down and take it, bitch!' and she was all, 'Oh but sir, I'm just a nurse on this ship!' and I was all, 'Well I'm the Captain ho, take the PAIN!' HAHAHAHA..."

IMG_6240 by you. 
Some people hate bad photos of themselves. Conversely, I find them hilarious.  Plus check it out - I'm beneath the water line!  Felt like I was back in New Orleans!

IMG_6242a by you.

Then we were on to Tussauds!  The glitz! The glamour! More wax!

Ummm, so I guess when they were making the figures for the Beatles, they couldn't get hold of the boys themselves, or any decent photographs, so they just dressed up 4 retarded transsexuals from the local loony bin, threw on some cheap wigs and went from there...

Again, what was so striking at Madame Tussauds was the amount of people who refrained from interacting with the wax figurines.  The place was crawling with foreigners, the vast majority of which were bizarrely middle-eastern, and if there's one thing I now know about middle-easterns it's this - they do NOT pose in pictures.  They take photography very seriously indeed.  Unlike Julian and I who try to have as much fun as possible!  Every waxwork is just a new oppurtunity to let laughter and/or offense ensue!

First, my favorite ever wax figurine:

Man, do I love Miley Cyrus.  I think I squealed when I saw her.  People often assume I'm being ironic when I say I think she's great.  I am not.  If I could be anyone in the world, I'd be Miley Cyrus. Fact.  Plus - check out that picture! Don't we make a super pair?!  We could so be BFF's!

So, anyone who knows me knows I've had a thing for Angelina forever.  Way before everyone else got on board with her, I was there from the start.  This shit stretches back to Foxfire and Gia, though I think Hackers is where the affair was first ignited.  Back then I was alone in my adoration.  At first, no one knew about her, then everyone thought she was "weird", then everyone thought she was a bisexual self-harmer who was "dark", then everyone thought she was a home-wrecker, now most think she's too into all that peace and humanitarian shit with all her orphans and whatnot. Through it all - I've been there Angie!  I've stuck by ya!  I think if I could look like anyone, I'd look like her; but I wouldn't have her body, for that I'd go to Kardashian, of course.  Imagine it - I'd be Miley Cyrus, with Angelina's face and Kardashian's bod.  I could rule the world.
Anyways, there was a line of guys waiting to get their picture taken with her, but when they got up there, none of them would even touch her. Not so much as an arm gently around her waist - nothing.  Perhaps they thought it was the real Jolie (hard to believe considering how little the wax representation looks like her). So I thought I'd do the dirty work for them; I tried to make a sexually grotesque face coupled with a subtly crass pose.  I feel I succeeded in both.

If only Tudds had stuck with the stand-up, this photo could be happening for real...

There are a lot of people who dislike Jim Carrey; there are even more people who dislike Jim Carrey "except for The Truman Show", even though everyone knows his greatest performance is in Liar Liar.  I belong to neither of these groups.  I think this pictures my love is pure and never-ending.

I'm pretty sure Tudds was arguing with Steven over the following picture.  Tudds insisted on doing his own stunts...:

Okay, there are several issues with this set-up, firstly that guy behind Tudds is meant to be Indiana Jones, as in Harrison Ford.  Instead, he looks more like Christopher Reeve after the accident.  Also, this must be taken from the unseen Studio-54-set addition to the Indiana Jones series, as I'm pretty sure in the original he was running away from a boulder, not a gargantuan disco ball.

Ah, Morgan Freeman.  Due to his natural gravitas and general aura of greatness he is terribly well-respected; he may be one of the most liked actors in Hollywood.  But we thought it'd be funny to treat him like a cunt.  Morgan Freeman is a cunt. <---catchphrase of 2009!

Tudds Sports Time!

Lance has never looked more cancer-ridden athletic!

Dude, Tiger is SO checking out his Wood. (sorry)

Then we finally arrive at what is, in my humble opinion, the best part of ole Tussauds - the historical section.  Many may prefer the celeb section, but really, it's here where you can let loose with the fun:

Look at Oscar Wilde's face - what else could he possibly be thinking of?

I think Pavarotti knows I went as him last year for Halloween, so he feels he can be that much more touchy feely.  Filthy goddam Italian.

Dictator love in the house!

Saddam and Chantal, Spring Break 2008. We'll always have the memories, honey!xx

And finally, my favorite picture of the day:

So there you have it!  How to have real fun on a day out. You're welcome!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Party, Pumping Arty

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday of the year. Well, except for Christmas, I guess. No one really says this, but Christmas is everyone's favorite holiday because they get stuff. Fact. But after the age of about 14 it becomes cool to "hate Christmas" so everyone pretends it's just such a nuisance and isn't it awful, and oh it's so commercialized "these days" (as though this is a recent development) and ugh, I just hate my family so much, and it's so boring blah blah blah... WHATEVER. You all love it really, you just love complaining more.

Anyways, aside form the obvs number one, I adore Halloween. I loved it as a kid, and I love it as an adult - perhaps being American (where we know how to celebrate this shit...) helps. I had years of traditional trick or treating, whereas kids in England have a sad stroll up and down their ill-equipped English neighborhood in which about 2 people have bothered to get any candy and even then it's crappy ASDA gold coins or raisins. I remember at university we had trick or treaters come to our house; that was a sad scenario. All we could give them was some Tesco Value crisps, the shit flavors that had been left because no one liked them. It was heart-breaking stuff.

Anyways - beyond the trick or treating, I loved loved loved the costumes. My brother and I had great costumes, and I've kept up the tradition as I've gotten older. This element of Halloween is catching on in England, where they take fancy dress as seriously as Americans, though at the moment Halloween is still primarily pretty mundane stuff in London - unimaginative Slutoween girls dressed as whores (nurse/policewoman/French maid/cat etc), and everyone else dressed in regular clothes with "zombie" faces consisting of lots of black eyeliner, white face powder and fake blood around the mouth. It's so depressing. I miss real costumes, things with some thought put into it. These are starting to appear more, people are getting the message and if you hang out with the right folks on the night you should get some exciting outfits. Just avoid the Old Blue Last.

As well as the costumes and general national excitement from America, I really miss the house decor. People went to town over there, dry ice, cobwebs, a stereo hidden in the front yard playing an endless loop of rattling chains and ghostly groans. Scary stuff. But even if the house wasn't going the whole hog, you could at least be sure that every house on the block had a jack-o-lantern. I remember at University, again, we got a jack-o-lantern. Had a great time carving the pumpkin then roasting the pumpkin seeds. Proudly put it out on our little balcony. Only for some idiotic and likely bored teenagers to steal it the following day. Good work England, stealing a crappy 80p pumpkin. Way to get into the spirit!

Anyways, in honor of the day, I've been trawling around looking for some super jack-o-lanterns and boy have I found some gems! Join me on my trip down Lantern Lane...

--Where better to start then the traditional Jack-O's, these are your standard fare and probably the most heart-warming to me as they're just so classic:


This is usually the kind of thing I do, partics the one on the left - notice all the jagged edges and the still visible pen lines from where they were meant to cut? That's my kinda carving!

--Then there's the more advanced carving, these display far more technique and skill, without straying too far from the traditional scary pumpkin look:



--Of course then there's the people who just have to show off their skills...pumpkin carving means a lot to them, they expect your praise:

This is actually one of my faves simply because I really like the idea of carving a pumpkin onto a pumpkin. It's like wearing a t-shirt with picture of yourself on it. Something, by the way, which I've always wanted. So if anyone's stumped as to what to get me for the aformentioned Christmas, there's your present - get me a t-shirt of myself.

Okay, this is impressive and all, clearly took his time - but what the hell is it? Just random swirls and lines?? Are they meant to be Chinese throwing stars? And what the fuck is in the middle? Is that the stalk? There's something a bit tribal about the whole design, it has a sorta Lord of the Rings vibe going on and no-one wants nerdy fantasy/sci-fi shit on Halloween...Whoever carved this is the same guy who will be going to the Halloween party dressed as second tier character from Battlestar Gallactica.

--Then there's the turbo pumpkin carvers, people who look forward to Halloween purely to get involved in the carving extravaganza; it's the one time of year their skills come to life (a depressing notion). These are people who have their pumpkins carved by the end of September. They are often celebrities/movies/current events-based (the Presidential election is particularly popular this year) and they are probably for a local carving competition that no-one, aside from those taking part, ever hears about :
Wizard of Oz Jack O'Lantern by Jim Murphy.




E.T. by ladybugbkt.

VOTE!! by ladybugbkt.

Scariest pumpkin ever by _Avian_Security_.

--Then there's the trend pumpkins. For a while the biggest trend was the puking pumpkin, which I actually still love:

dyniowa        niestrawno&sacute;&cacute;  &zdot;o&lstrok;&aogon;dkowa ...  :) by marcelek.

But recently, there's a been a trend towards cannibal pumpkins, very hip, very now:

--And of course, the comedy pumpkins! Sometimes simple, yet more effective than the rest. Often simply moronic:

IMG_3000 by cranberries.

Typography Pumpkin by scormeny.


Has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween or pumpkins. Just an abstract statement. This is almost pop art.

--And there's this. Not even a jack-o-lantern really. Just my favorite use of a pumpkin. And actually easy!
The Burger Pumpkin!!!

Alas I have no jack-o-lantern this year, so if anyone want sot get one and carve it with me I'm free before my party tonight. Be warned I have no artistic talent and will want all the seeds for myself.

Happy Halloween kids!

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