May the odds be EVER in your favour.

I have recently become quite obsessed with The Hunger Games.

It wasn’t so much a jumping on the band wagon, but more the hype around the release of the movie is what prompted me to finally read the books.

I have had them sitting there for a few months now after being recommended by a friend to read them and I just hadn’t gotten around to it. But then the movie was released and I thought before anything gets spoiled, I should probably read the books to head off any unwanted spoilers.

So I started reading the first book. I finished it two days later. Then I started the second – Catching Fire – by the time a week had passed, all three had been devoured by my hungry little eyes.

There are not many books these days that actually get me to sit down and read that quickly. I like to take my time in reading a book, usually reading a chapter or two before bed each night.

However, for The Hunger Games, I just couldn’t put them down. There were several nights in that week that I stayed up late reading. I just wanted to know what happened next. Only a few other books have had the same treatment – Harry Potter and Twilight. When each HP book was released, I would read them in a weekend. With the Twilight books, once I had finally began reading them, on a recommendation of a friend, I had all four of them done and dusted within a week.

It is incredibly hard to find books like this nowadays. They are few and far between. And if they do exist, sooner or later Hollywood will come a-knocking and they will be brought to life on the silver screen.

Today, I went to see The Hunger Games movie. I even managed to drag Man Piece along with me. He even enjoyed it.

Now, I’m not the biggest advocate for books into movies, it seems these days that every movie made is based on a book. Can’t Hollywood come up with an original thought? No.

Anyway…

The movie of The Hunger Games was actually quite good. I didn’t feel they had missed anything out and they touched on themes that come up in the next two books. Although it would have been nice to include certain things from the book that were missed out, they weren’t that important and for the sake of time, continuity and cutting down, it was understandable. The major themes and events were covered and they didn’t get anything blatantly wrong.

One thought I did have when I was reading the books then looking at the film, was that I imagined Liam Hemsworth (Gale) as Peeta rather than Josh Hutcherson. But having watched the movie now, they do fit their roles and I can’t imagine it the other way.

[Sidenote: OMG JOSH HUTCHERSON IS THAT LITTLE KID FROM BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA.]

So, you could say I have actually jumped on the bandwagon, but what a good bandwagon to be on. I look forward to Catching Fire and Mockingjay being made into movies and I might even follow them through production.

Even if you hate following what other people do, Suzanne Collins’ novels are definitely worth a read. They are very big brother is watching you and could even say they are our generations’ version of 1984.

And I’m sure if someone were to study them a bit closer, they would find themes picking at our society today. *cough* survivor *cough* Not that I’m going to do that or anything… NOT AN ENGLISH NERD.

Oscars: What were people thinking?

The Oscars were yesterday and all I can say about the dresses was, What were people thinking? Talk about bland, uninspiring, or gross. I struggled to find any that I liked, or thought something could be better about them.

Shall we start with the worst dressed?

Worst Dressed:

Emma Stone: She went from best dressed to worst in a matter of weeks. The bow is just awful.

Kate Beckinsale: The patterns, the cut-outs, the added extra frilly bits. Just no.

January Jones: Who knows what the designer was thinking with this dress.

Rosario Dawson: I can be a fan of block colours, when they are done right. This is not one of those times.

Sofia Getty: Who said a jumpsuit would be a good idea? Jumpsuits are never a good idea unless you are under the age of five.

Shailene Woodley: Are you trying to be a nun? No, just no.

Gwen Stefani: Usually Gwen has some good taste, but this is just wrong. It looks like a prickle bush. Although it might look alright if it was sleeveless and strapless and had a heart neckline. So yeah, get rid of the arms and chest bits.

Mena Suvari: Did you want to be a cloud when you grew up?

Lily Collins: I'm not sure how I feel about this dress. I think I'm coming down on the side of bad. Maybe without the sleeves it would look better.

Natalie Portman: So bland, so very, very bland. But at least it is better than that pink thing she wore to the Emmy's.

To bridge between the worst dressed and the best dressed, I would like to bring your attention to two very similar dresses to show how things can go completely wrong or look utterly fabulous.

Here is Rose Byrne.

And here is Anna Farris.

The dresses appear to be made of the same material, gorgeous, black and shinny. One is utterly gorgeous and the other looks like she is wearing a garbage bag. Can you guess which?

I’ll put you out of your misery. Anna Farris looks like she’s wearing a garbage bag.

Best Dressed:

Sarah Hyland: Simple and gorgeous.

Ellie Kemper: The colour and the sparkles are amazing. The cut is simple and elegant.

Kelly Osborne: She's starting to do things right. This dress is lovely.

Anna Paquin: I love this dress and Anna looks amazing in it.

Claire Danes: I love the colour and the fluffy, frilly skirt. I want a dress/skirt like this. She also looks amazing.

Cameron Diaz: She looks absolutely stunning in this dress. The dress is pretty amazing too.

Jessica Chastain: This dress is amazing. I love the gold on black.

I don't know who this is, but I love the dress.

Kristen Wiig: I love the frilly, floatiness of this dress, but I'm not sure about the colour. Perhaps something darker?

Wendi McCendon: I love this dress. I could possibly wear something like this to get married in.

Sandra Bullock: The reason I love this dress is the two-tone, the looseness and the detailing around the waist.

Lastly, I have to mention Angelina Jolie. Not because of the dress, but because of the leg. Just what, I don’t even…

Tweet, tweet.

This post has been a long time coming. Lately I’ve been feeling a bit over twitter, made more so because of the platforms that I use to tweet,  because they essentially suck.

The one that I probably use the most is Twitter for iPhone. A few months ago it was updated with some rather significant changes. I understand why Twitter has updated the apps and web with wanting to streamline usage. Any official twitter app essentially has the same interface. Even though this makes it easier to switch between the various applications, I still prefer the old version of Twitter for iPhone.

Reasons for why I dislike it:

1. You can no longer swipe across a tweet and get quick reply, retweet, favourite, etc buttons. I loved this. Now, you have to go into a tweet and wait for it to load, because it does take a little bit to load now, before you can perform any actions. Although, I did just download the update today and swiped across a tweet because I still want to do it, and it did it! I was all, “WHAT?” so it looks like they have put back a few things they had removed.

2. People show up in your timeline with what they put as their “name”, not their @ name. Some people write some pretty weird things in there. So now I don’t know who half the people showing up in my timeline are.

3. The progress bar when sending a tweet has disappeared. This was a great indicator of whether a tweet would send or not. Now it’s not there and you kind of can’t tell if the tweet has failed to send or not. And let’s be honest, this actually happens quite a lot.

4. Direct messages now appear under “me” instead of a similar button appearing like mentions (sidenote: what is with ‘mentions’ now known as ‘connect’?) So now you have to go into “me” and then click on DMs. Slightly annoying.

5. Switching accounts is so much harder to do nowadays. In the old version it was as simple as hitting “settings” at the top left and you could go change accounts. Now you have to go into “me”, scroll down, then hit “switch accounts” in order to select which account you want. It is no longer intuitive and actually annoying, because it does not allow for quick changing between accounts.

6. No longer saying whether someone follows you or not when you look at their profile. It’s a pretty handy feature because I don’t want to look like a twat when talking to someone who doesn’t follow me, especially when I’m private.

7. Swiping to get back to your timeline. Yes, just hitting the ‘connect or ‘home ‘ button does that. But this is what I got used to. I don’t like change. Why fix something I it’s not broken? Also, sometimes I’ll look like a twat trying to get the swipe working, kind of like trying to use the swipe on a Mac touchpad when you’re actually using a mouse. And windows.

8. Not saying which account you are one. Where there is now the twitter bird at the top used to be which account you were tweeting from. It’s a bit frustrating trying to determine which account I left the app on instead of just seeing it at the top.

So does anyone know of an app which is like the old version, free, and allows for multiple accounts?

Best and worst dressed.

The Golden Globes were today. Usually a day of fashion and trying to catch the celebrities doing random drunk things. This year, the fashion wasn’t that great, but I still want to say which were my favs and which weren’t.

Hate

Amanda Peet looks like she’s wearing a nighty.

Julianna Margulies has a body which is way better than this dress, which does absolutely nothing for her.

I have no words for Kelly Osborne. Unless ‘ugh’ is one. And the hair? It’s grey!

Jodie Foster looks really uncomfortable in this dress. I feel the skirt should be more flared at the bottom.

Freido Pinto looks like her proportions are wrong. Hem needed to be skinny, not full.

Michelle Williams looks like she should be hanging on a wall, as a curtain.

It looks like someone just grab some hot pink material and wrapped it around Natalie Portman, then tied it at the waist.

Is Jessica Beil getting married in the 19th Century?

Love

Ariel Winter is so cute in this dress. I wouldn’t mind a dress like that myself.

Tina Fey. This is the type of dress I want when I get married, except, yanno, white/cream/black/whatever.

A lot of people have been bagging on The Buffster, but personally, I love what SMG is wearing.

I don’t even know who this woman is – Katharine McPhee. But the dress is simple and elegant and I love the champagne colour.

Debra Messing wears a very similar style to SMG, which is why I love this dress. But I’d prefer the oil/water version more.

It’s elegant, yet a little punky. Just like Emma Stone, which is why I like it.

Mila Kunis. This is something that I would see potential bridesmaids wearing, for my wedding of course. (No, I’m not thinking about getting married *shifty eyes*) In black too. Also perhaps a slightly shorter hem.

This is just beautiful. I love the feathery like skirt. Helen Mirren always looks amaze in navy blue.

Male

The males always tend to dress the same – in a tux, so unless they tend to go a bit eccentric like Ricky Gervais did with his maroon tux, they don’t really stand out from any other male walking down the red carpet. But, Chris Colfer stood out, because he looks so darn cute.

(Obtained photos mostly from The Hollywood Reporter or by doing a simple, yet effective, google search.)

Australia – the country, not the movie.

A few months ago, Jethro and I decided we wanted to take a trip to Australia. Just for a few days so I could see Melbourne, as I had never been before. When Jethro was booking the tickets he found it was cheaper to fly to Brisbane and back to Wellington than out of Melbourne again. So we also squeezed in a couple days in Brisbane.

This is going to be a bit of a picture blog post – I took A LOT of pictures. A combination from my phone and on my awesome camera.

We arrived in Melbourne after very little sleep and getting up at 4am (like WTF, why do they make one of those in the morning?)

Early morning Melbourne from the airport bus along the motorway. Big city, yo.

Once in the city we found our hotel and then decided to wander around a bit to start exploring the city.

Apparently getting hit by a tram is like getting hit by a rhino. But how do you know what getting hit by a rhino is like, if you've never been hit by one?

A great little place to find heaps of places to eat. It reminds me of Rotorua, where you can go get food from any place and sit in the street to eat. Only downfall was sitting right next to strangers - as in, you could elbow them.

After wandering around the city centre and having lunch, we began wandering out a bit. We ended up at the aquarium to see the pengys!

Pengys love the fountain! Look at 'em play!

I became quite obsessed with the penguins and didn’t want to stop watching them or look at anything else. Pengys are awesome! However, we did end up looking at other stuff.

Jellyfish, they kind of creep me out and I don't find them that interesting, but this is a rather cool photo.

We then got on the City Circle tram to get a good look around the city. A tram, and it’s free! I like trams.

From the tram, we got to see a lot of old buildings. This one is state parliament.

After the tram ride we had cocktails with @MissNickiBee at a bar called 1806. They had some pretty tasty cocktails and chips too. We then went to a Maylasian restaurant for dinner, which was pretty good – all within walking distance.

It was back to the hotel for some rest after walking around all day and getting up ridiculously early. Our hotel was pretty good – Citidines. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and will likely stay there again. We got a free upgrade, but it was clean and comfortable. The bed also happened to be a foam bed, which is my kind of bed! SO COMFORTABLE – it molds to your body.

Day two saw us start the day with meeting up with @MissNickiBee again and heading to breakfast at The Pancake Parlour.

This is called the 'it' pancakes. Caramalised banana and walnuts on pancakes with cream.

After breakfast we jumped on the City Circle tram again to head down to dockside for some shopping. I got my first look at Autograph and ended up buying a lot of clothes. We were introduced to a store called Typo, in which I could quite happily spend every and all my pay cheques in for ever and ever.

We headed back into town to find some lunch – Lord of the Fries! – which is an all vegetarian restaurant so Jethro was happy. It was quite tasty and barely noticeable it was all vegetarian.

We sat in this atrium to eat, it was pretty cool.

Melbourne currently has these weird demon baby statues. I just don't even know how or why.

We continued walking around the city for the afternoon, where I discovered amazing macaroons, was introduced to David Jones, Myer and Target. I went quite girly at David Jones – ALL THE SHOES.

Macaroons!

*swoon* Louboutin.

And then there was the Occupy Melbourne protests, which we ran into.

Horseys!

After this we were pretty exhausted so had a drink and headed back to the hotel. Jethro went and got us Pie Face for dinner. We should totally have one of those here. Awesome.

Thus ends Melbourne shenanigans. The next morning, it was off to Brisbane.

Brisbane river from South Bank.

Once we got to Brisbane, we checked into the hotel – Rydges – which wasn’t actually that flash. It’s like they had tried to upgrade it, but kind of failed. The shower was pretty bad. My measure of a hotel is now based on the shower and the bed. The bed was fine, the shower dubious. Thus average.

We walked around South Bank for a bit and then found a bar to have a few drinks. Jethro ended up inviting some of his Linux conference friends along to catch up with and we all had dinner at Grill’d, which was pretty amazing. Definitely a place to go, whether in Brisbane or Melbourne.

This is the mustard and pickled. It was delicious.

Jethro even bought be a rose. Nawwwwww.

We then went for coffee at this amazing  place called Denim Espresso Fashion. The hot chocolate was amazing and so was the pistachio and cranberry nougat.

The hot chocolate: you poor hot milk over chocolate bits. It is divine.

Best nougat ever.

Afterwards we headed back to the hotel, as we were both pretty exhausted.

The next day we met up with @Ilaeria, walked around South Bank, saw the markets and headed over the Goodwill bridge and into Brisbane CBD for some more shopping. Not that we really did any, we just wanted to see the city, which is pretty awesome with some of its old buildings, just like Melbourne.

We came back over to South Bank, said goodbye to @Illaria and wandered around a bit more. We ended up going on the Wheel of Brisbane to see the city at twilight, which was pretty awesome.

Not the best picture, but you can see the pretty, pretty sky.

Wheel of Brisbane.

For dinner we went to this great little Italian place and had gourmet pizza. Mine was pear and prosciutto. So delicious, I may even have to try and replicate it.

The next morning we had to check out of the hotel and as just so happened, the Queen was in town. The actual one. We headed down to South Bank to try and spot her, but in the end waiting was so painful. I did snap a shot of her on the boat arriving at South Bank. That was enough for me.

Oh hai.

Afterwards we wandered back over the Goodwill bridge, after getting an ice cream, cause damn, Brisbane is hot. We wandered around the Botanical Gardens and saw some cool old buildings. After that jaunt, we headed back to the hotel to pick up our bags, encountered the Queen again and got on the train back out to the airport.

At the airport I had some good old Eagle Boys – how I have missed thee! And we boarded the plane back to Wellington. After a spot of duty free shopping, where I picked up four OPI nail polishes for $50. Bargain. Considering here they are $25 each.

Getting back into Wellington was a bit of a relief and I just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep. However the taxis had another plan – we ended up waiting about half an hour for one after our flight got in. This resulted in not getting to sleep until around 2am. Then there was the early morning flight back to Auckland, oh joy.

Overall, I had a really good time. Did some pretty awesome shopping and got to spend a nice wee break with Jethro in another country. It was fun and exhausting and I can’t wait to travel again. Hopefully next time we will have a little bit longer so we don’t feel so rushed to try and fit everything in and can just take our time enjoying things.

For more photos of the trip, I will be putting them up on Flikr when I get a chance.