Monday, April 30, 2012

Team Loki

Since The Avengers (Avengers Assemble in the UK) hasn't come out yet in the States (el oh el), and I'm still on a fangirl high after seeing it twice, I thought now might be a good time to express my feels about one of my favorite fictional characters ever, Loki Laufeyson. If you haven't seen Thor and you want to do so at some point without getting spoiled, maybe now is the time to turn away. But seriously why haven't you see Thor; I'm not sure we can be friends.

I realize that my blog has become a sort of dumping-ground for my fangirling lately, and for that I apologize. (Not that it was really ever anything else.) But let's get past that, because you're about to be taken on a wild ride of shameless fangirling. 

Almost two weeks ago, Shaun and I went to the European premiere of Avengers Assemble, in London. To clarify, by "went to the premiere" I mean we stood along the red carpet waving cameras in the air and screaming, "Tom! Tom! Tom! Tom! TOM! TOM!" while snapping "accidental" photos of his ass. We didn't actually see the film that day; only cool people were allowed to do that. But here, let me show you the Hiddlebum.

Dat ass. My camera knew what it wanted even if I was far too short to see over anyone's head. People are really annoying when they're at events like these, by the way. Celebs make bitches crazy. To my right was a guy who'd brought his DVD covers for Ghost World and Lost in Translation, clearly hoping to get ScarJo's autograph on them. Sigh. And then to my left, always edging in front of me, was some dude who did nothing but stand there. He just stood there, you guys. He wasn't taking pictures, had nothing for anyone to sign; he was just standing there with his arms at his sides, watching. WHY WERE YOU THERE, dude? I wanted to be like, "Buddy, if you're not gonna scream like an asshole and take a billion blurry photos of the tops of people's heads, then you can fuck right off." But I didn't, because I pretend to be a nice person on the outside. Either way I wouldn't have been able to see anybody. I am really short. 

Wait, so what was I talking about? I totally lost my train of thought while recalling how traumatic the premiere was. Oh, yes. So basically we just screamed people's names and the best photo I got was of Tom Hiddleston's ass. We did have a ton of fun with the other fans before the premiere started, though! I took a billion photos of the hilarious/amazing cosplayers that were in our section, but this is the best of the bunch:

The point of this post is Loki, though. Loki. Loki Loki. Let's get back to Loki, Meg! Okay! So all of us (Loki's Army) were sitting there a little past noon, five hours before the whole thing started, putting together a sign to show our love for Tom Hiddleston/Loki. Then a woman sitting near me tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "Why do you guys love Loki so much? He's evil." To which I said something like, BUT HE IS SO ADORBS HOW CAN YOU HATE HIM TOM HIDDLESTON LOOK AT HIS FACE. I meant to be articulate and persuasive, but I vomited fangirlisms instead. Oh well; now I have the chance to explain in my very own blog why I, and probably so many other people, love Loki so much.
1. He's so very tortured. You would be too if you'd grown up all your life in the shadow of your cocky, loudmouth, d-bag older brother who probably gave you wedgies. And also if you found out that you were actually adopted (more like stolen) from a race of evil monsters who everyone hates. And if then your adopted father told you that he only took you away because he planned to basically put you on the throne of Jotunheim later on, not that he was gonna tell you any of this until you cried and had a fit in the hallway, after having pretty much figured it out yourself already. Not to mention the fact that your little ploy to delay your d-bag brother's coronation ended up in his being exiled from your home world. There's probably a lot of guilt going on, a lot of self-loathing, questioning whether your entire life is a lie, wondering whether everyone will loathe you now that your identity has come out. I think we would all be just a little tortured inside if this had all gone down in our lives. Loki just wanted to please his father, to feel himself an equal to his brother, and yet he finds himself feeling even further separated from them upon learning of his true birthright. He never wanted the throne, guys. He just wanted to be Thor's equal. :'(
2. He's so very weepy. I really, really love a villain who angry-weeps. I just find it so endearing and oddly sexy. Basically every scene with Loki, it looks like he's about to cry, or he's actually shedding tears. He's not a villain you immediately hate, nor does he ever really become that villain. He's always sympathetic; he's always Thor's little brother, trying to prove himself, trying to become the kind of man he thinks his father would be proud of, but it comes out all wrong. Unlike most baddies, when I first watched Thor I found myself enjoying the scenes with Loki just as much as, if not more so, than Thor's scenes on Earth. That doesn't happen often while watching superhero movies, not for me. Every time Loki sheds a tear, a little part of me dies inside.
3. He's so very pretty. I'll admit. The first time I saw Thor, I wasn't focused on Loki's ridiculously attractive face. In fact I thought he was kind of weird looking. I liked the vampiric hue of his skin, though. And his pretty gold horn helmet. After watching the film again and being gradually converted into a raving Tom Hiddleston fangirl, I realized that Loki is just a really, really attractive adopted Frost Giant. Look at his eyes, guys. Look at his weirdly slicked-back hair. He's like if an elf and a vampire mated, and created a demigod of Asgard. Yes good.
4. He's so very tragic. It might be that I just have way too many Fangirl Feels pent up inside me and they like to come streaming out all at once in intense droves, but I can't get over how sad Loki's story makes me. The last few moments you see him in Thor, he tells his adopted father Odin, "I could have done it, father! I could have done it! For you! For all of us." Odin could have forgiven his son; he could have said, "Yes, Loki, but you didn't, and it's okay, so come up here and get a big ol' hug from Dad." Instead he said, "No, Loki." And Loki let go. He'd been lied to, betrayed, and now dismissed by his own father. Odin was the only person he wanted to prove himself to, and here Odin was, telling him he couldn't. He never could. It's pretty much the most upsetting character arc of my life right now, and that's why I love Loki so much. What other superhero villain makes me weep shamelessly into my jelly beans at night, while simultaneously giving me a constant ladyboner? What other baddie could look so beautiful while crying and wearing a giant gold cow-horn helmet? Only Loki. Only Loki

And that's why I am on Team Loki. So shut up, random lady at the Avengers Assemble premiere! You don't know what you're talking about.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Olivier Awards, or: How I Met Harry Lloyd (Again)

Okay! Let's talk about the Olivier Awards! I wasn't sure what I was going to write about for this post at first -- would I describe the performances? Recap the winners in each category? Review the red carpet gowns? But finally I've decided I'm just going to write like a crazy fangirl and try to share my favorite moments of the night, so you get my experience of it all instead of the same thing you could read at any news site. So yeah. Here we go. (Also please excuse some of these photos; most were taken on my awful phone, but the better ones were jacked from Shaun.)

As perhaps some of you know (again, I've been on and on about this on twitter), Shaun won two tickets to the 2012 Laurence Olivier Awards, which took place last night at the Royal Opera House. She won them on Friday, and when she sent me an email about it I was in a total state of shock. The email basically went, "Oh so I won these tickets on twitter for the Olivier Awards, it's a fancy theatre awards show, are you busy this Sunday? Sorry this email is ridiculous." I said, "UM YES PLEASE, NO I AM NOT BUSY ON SUNDAY, WHY IS THIS EMAIL SO CALM." After that we proceeded to panic about what to wear, what celebs would be there, etc. I bought a new dress and shoes for the event, since I destroyed my only heels at the office Christmas party by somehow caking them in mud. It was a very stressful weekend trying to put an outfit together, let me tell you.

At the end of it all, though, I think it turned out okay! Not the fanciest ever, but the dress was on sale for £15 at River Island so what are you gonna do. I fell in love at first sight with the shoes (from New Look), but by the end of the night I wanted to kill myself my feet were in so much pain. People who wear 6-inch heels every day: HOW.

Skip ahead to Sunday afternoon. The red carpet was supposed to open at 4:30pm, but we didn't want to be ridiculously early so Shaun and I went for a drink at the Nag's Head in Covent Garden to calm our frazzled nerves. We saw a couple other dressed up people there, probably having the same thought as us! What's an awards show without a drink beforehand?

My painful-as-hell shoes and our pre-show drinks: pint of Foster's for me and a rum & coke for Shaun.
After enduring a brief downpour and a bunch of contradictory instructions from people in reflective vests, we finally found the entrance to the red carpet. By this time our feet were killing us, so we hobbled onto the carpet... and lo and behold, it was super squishy! The red carpet is a legitimate carpet, you guys! It was like a cloud under my feet, and we didn't fall or trip while walking along it. There were fans gathered along the sides, and I felt bad that we weren't anyone famous, but it was so early that nobody cool was arriving yet anyway. Once we reached the end of the carpet we took a few cheeky photos, hovered for a moment hoping somebody hot would appear on the carpet (they didn't), and finally headed into the Opera House.

Looking like a goob on the red carpet, and free bubbly during the interval!
The red carpet, too early to be interesting to anyone.
Before the crowd really started gathering in the commoners' bar.

Once inside we were directed upstairs to a fancy bar area, at which point we immediately found a place to sit down. From there we could quite easily people-watch, but the real excitement was outside on the red carpet. Behind us were windows looking out on the red carpet, and every once in a while we'd crane our necks around to see if anyone interesting had arrived yet. I had my mind on one thing and one thing only, as expected: Harry Lloyd. I'd read earlier in the week that he was going to be presenting an award that night, so when I found out we were actually going to be there I about had a Harry Lloyd-induced coronary. Needless to say I had my beady eyes on the lookout for his creepy Duchess of Malfi facial hair, and what do you know, I peered over my shoulder at one point to see a faraway face on the red carpet... was that...? Yes it was! I said something articulate to Shaun like, "OHMYGOD IT'S HIM I THINK THAT'S HARRY IS THAT HIM? OHMYGOD YES IT IIISSSS," so we stood up and shuffled painfully to the window. It was indeed Harry Lloyd, being interviewed and looking very tall on the red carpet. We murmured fangirlisms to one another as we watched, but soon enough he was ushered inside by his PA.

After that there was a bit of a lull. We continued to stare eagerly out the window, while I glanced intermittently at the stairs leading up to the room in which we stood, hoping that somehow Harry Lloyd would make his way up to us so I could stand around feeling bad that I was too chicken to talk to him. We figured there must be a super cool, separate celebrity bar downstairs, and that we commoners weren't important enough to be allowed to mingle with them, so we were herded up here to the Olivier Awards equivalent of the third class decks on the Titanic. Soon, though, more famous people started showing up. We were way up on the 1st or 2nd floor, so it was rather hard to pick them out, but whenever somebody was being interviewed or photographed we knew it was someone we might recognize. I spotted Zach Braff first, and later we caught site of Dan Stevens (cousin Matthew from Downton Abbey!). I got so excited I took the shittiest phone photo known to man:

Of course the whole time I kept a keen eye on the stairs, hoping against hope that Harry would get lost amongst the milling crowds and confusedly wander up to the lowly commoners' area and then be drawn to me like a moth to a flame, and ask, "Why are you staring at me?" I'd given up hope though, and reminded myself that I'd already met him outside the Old Vic after The Duchess of Malfi, so it wasn't a tragedy if I never spoke to him again. It didn't matter that I'd been reliving that moment in my head every night as I went to sleep, coming up with more interesting banter, remembering all the things I wish I'd said to him the first time, kicking myself for not thinking of them sooner. (I'd apologize for my insane fangirl behavior, but come on guys, who hasn't obsessively dwelt on this kind of thing before? Who? Yeah, nobody.) And then suddenly, as though I possessed a Harry Lloyd radar at full power, I turned to the stairs and there he was.

I poked Shaun and scream-whispered: "There he is ohmygod he's coming up the stairs!" Shaun, not really caring as much as me and probably tired by now of my constant Harry Lloyd ravings, indulged me by pretending to be super interested. She soon turned back to the window and the red carpet, but I stalker-watched Harry as he made his way through the crowd. He was clearly looking for someone, at one point pulling out his phone and making a call while standing all confused and alone in the middle of the now crowded room, so I stood my ground and stared like a sexual predator. A terrified, frozen sexual predator.

I was still gawking at him over my shoulder when Shaun punched me in the face. Okay fine, the arm; she hit me really hard on the arm. It would've been more badass if it was the face, though. Anyway, Shaun slapped my arm with the force of a thousand Spartans and said, pointing out the window, "IT'S JAMES MCAVOY!" And it was. That tiny Scottish actor with so much manly allure, pausing for photos and being generally Really Famous and Cool As Fuck. We each shed a single tear in the face of his overwhelming beauty.

Once that was over with, I jerked back around to look for Harry, only to find that he'd disappeared into the crowd. No! Then a bell sounded, and a woman's voice over the sound system told us all to fuck off to our seats because the ceremony was about to begin. Shaun and I stood unmoving, and I scanned the crowd in a panic. No sign of Harry. We weren't quite sure where we were meant to go in order to find our seats, so at last I led Shaun off through the now thinning crowd in the direction which I thought Harry had gone. We paused again near the bar on the other end of the room, and then I saw him. He was in conversation with two other people who were clearly Awesome and probably Actors, so I poked Shaun and started saying stupid things like, "There he is," "Should I go...?" "Will I regret it if I..." and "UGH OMG." Then a woman came up and tried to make us leave, so I said something like, "WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO WE ARE OR WHERE WE'RE GOING OR WHAT'S HAPPENING" and she showed us where to find our seats. We didn't move; we just kept standing there and I wrung my hands and tried to still my heart that was beating like a hummingbird's.

IT'S HARRY LLOYD Y'ALL. Look at that gross facial hair. (via)

I knew I'd regret it if I didn't go talk to him, though. I knew I'd forever be living that moment in my head as well, and not in a good way. So when the usher went up to Harry and his friends to tell them to get out of there and find their seats, I took the opportunity to hobble over to them. All I remember at that point is reaching out to touch his arm, because he'd turned back to the bar, and I noticed he had what looked like dog or cat hair on the elbow of his tux, and I thought, "Boy, you need a lint roller." When he turned around I kind of just went into autopilot. I said something like, "Excuse me, hi, I just wanted to let you know I'm a huge fan of your work!" I expected him to be a little annoyed that some random was accosting him at this safe zone of an awards show, but he broke into this bright grin and said, "Oh, thank you so much!" Encouraged, I proceeded to tell him everything I'd seen him in and how much I loved him in everything, which was probably super neurotic and weird of me, but whatever! He made a cute comment about how his character in Game of Thrones was "another creepy git" or something after I mentioned seeing him in Duchess of Malfi. I also told him that I'm writing a novel and that he's my ideal casting for the movie version of one of the characters. DORKIEST THING TO SAY EVER, but I'm really glad I did, because I told him this in my stupid fantasies and I had to do it. I had to. He was probably super weirded out but I don't care, he was so gracious and happy to talk to me, some random fangirl! Then he shook my hand and shook Shaun's hand, and we probably said something like, "Have fun tonight" or whatever you say in these situations, and then he walked off into the crowd again. And then I peed myself a little.

The rest of the night was incredible. It was funny, entertaining, overwhelming, and ridiculous (because they could not seem to get the tv screens on stage to work properly). There was free champagne at the interval, and a ton of musical performances from various London shows throughout. We were in literally the last row of audience members, but it hardly mattered! We saw Patrick Stewart present an award, for godsake! I breathed the same air as Captain Jean-Luc Picard! I was in heaven. The whole thing was like a dream; really, one of the most memorable events of my life. And needless to say I was basking in post-Harry Lloyd euphoria the entire time.

After the show I peed for about five minutes straight (pint + champagne + small bladder = so much peeing), we plodded down roughly one billion flights of stairs in our heels, and emerged into the freezing night air of London. There was a small crowd of fans outside waiting for celebs to emerge, and it reminded us just how lucky we were to have been able to attend. We may not have gotten up close and personal with James McAvoy or anything, but we saw him from afar, and being able to see so many people in person and to experience the event live was just... beyond words.

I'm so grateful that Shaun invited me along as her date, and I'm so grateful to live in a city that gives us these incredible opportunities, again and again! People keep telling us we're lucky, or that we lead "charmed" lives, but we did all of it ourselves. (Although Shaun does win tickets to awards shows occasionally.) We applied and were accepted to graduate programs in London, we bought plane tickets, we packed up all our stuff and we crossed an entire ocean to accomplish what we truly wanted to do in life. We may do a lot of really cool things, but that's because we're always on the lookout, and always making new experiences a priority. Anyone out there who wants to do something that makes them truly happy, something amazing and grand, just do it! Awesome things don't come to those who wait. You have to make life happen. And I'm just so happy that I've made all of this happen for myself. Thanks forever to Shaun for initially inspiring me. ♥

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The New Black

So some of you probably already know (if you follow me on twitter) that I dyed my hair black yesterday! I've gone super dark brown before, but never this dark. I've always secretly wanted black hair, because vampires and goths are super hot, but was always too scared to do it. Not necessarily because I was worried I'd look bad, but because I was afraid of how people would react. That's the thing about changing your appearance noticeably -- people are bound to comment, and sometimes it can be nerve-wracking waiting for a response. It's particularly stressful when you're like me: I love expressing myself through my clothes, hair, and accessories (and my one lone tattoo), but I also have this kinda gross, constant need to be liked. So even if I think I'll look good with black hair, I have to ask friends ahead of time, "Will it look okay? I won't look like a teen goth will I?" Not that I'd even mind looking like a teen goth, but I live in terror of being judged by others.

I'm sure I'm not the only one! How many of you have changed something about your appearance, or not changed something (even as little as not wearing a certain outfit one day), because you were worried it would receive a negative reaction? As an ex style blogger, I'd be lying if I said I didn't love wearing weird things sometimes, and I definitely believe in expressing myself, no matter what other people think. But every once in a while I doubt myself, and this was one instance where I wasn't convinced. To go black, or stay safe with brown?

In the end, this piece of art that I found on tumblr made up my mind.

It hit me then -- what's so great about looking natural? Why should I be expected to love my mousey-brown natural hair color over a color that I choose, that I know I will love? And why should girls with curly hair need to "embrace their curls," or why shouldn't a girl with a flat chest get breast implants? If it's done out of joy, if a girl or a boy gets a tattoo and it makes them happier, then I am all for it. Of course nothing is wrong with embracing one's natural beauty! I think it's an amazing thing to be able to love every single thing about yourself, as is. But if there's something you can change, and you want to, and it's not done out of fear or insecurity or because it's what someone else wants, then by all means -- change it! To me, dying my hair or putting on a bunch of eyeliner or getting a tattoo is a way to express myself. I feel like the Real Meg when I do these things, and it makes me feel good.

So yes, I'm very glad I chose to dye my hair black! I don't regret it for a second. It's made me just that bit more confident now, because I look exactly the way I want to look.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Steampunk Soiree

I'd been meaning to read Gail Carriger's Soulless for ages, ever since I saw it as one of the staff recommendations at Powell's City of Books in Portland. Therefore, when someone from Orbit (the Sci Fi/Fantasy imprint at Little, Brown) recommended it to me during my work placement and provided me with a free copy, I was pretty darn excited. I read it on the tube and during my lunch breaks every day, and before my two-week placement ended, I'd already finished the book. The very next night I read the manga version of Soulless, vol 1. Then I ran out and bought the books I hadn't taken greedily from the Orbit shelves, and am well into book 2, Changeless. Needless to say I'm a little bit addicted! Gail Carriger's style is so very English, despite her being an American, and so steampunky! Really, these books are such fun, adorable, hilarious reads that I can't imagine life without them. Everyone go read them now.

As you can probably guess, when I found out about tonight's Steampunk Soiree at Foyles featuring Gail Carriger, I freaked out a little while reserving my tickets. A steampunk event? With my new favorite author? Yes please. I dragged Shaun along with me, and we were both so pleasantly surprised by how much fun the whole thing was. For some reason we were terrified that if we didn't show up in full steampunk attire, we'd be shunned and turned away by the rest of the proper steampunks. Obviously that didn't happen at all; in fact, it was super welcoming and low-key, with tea and cakes for all!

Lauren O'Farrell was a special guest there as well, to talk about her book Stitch London. I fell in complete love with her little London-centric knitted creations! That giant orange thing behind her in the photo is a knitted squid! I was gutted not to have won the raffle for her book, but I'm sorely tempted now to go out and buy a copy for myself -- why shouldn't I fill my room with tiny knitted urban vermin? So adorable!

Then Gail read a bit from Soulless, which was so charming, and answered a few questions for us. It was great to get a bit of insight into her writing process, how she got interested in steampunk, and what genres of Victorian literature her books are inspired by. I enjoyed myself immensely, and even had the courage to ask my own question! After that we all lined up to have our books signed, and I picked up another copy of Soulless for her to sign, the trade paperback to match the rest of my set. I acted like a complete idiot once it was my turn for her to sign, but I'm pretty sure I act like a complete idiot every time I meet any of my heroes (Mark Gatiss, anyone?), but oh well! It was just amazing to be there and tell her what an inspiration she is to me.

It was just a really great night, cozy and fun, and completely inspiring. I love geek meet-ups, so I hope there will be more of these Steampunk Soirees in the near future!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Characters We Miss in Game of Thrones: V-Targ

WARNING SPOILERS I GUESS (if you're so behind you haven't even seen season 1 yet, what are you doing with your life).

So this is a new thing I'm doing. On my blog here. Since we already miss a bunch of dudes from Game of Thrones, and since it's inevitable that a bunch more dudes (and ladies?) will be brutally slain as season 2 goes on, I believe it's time to make a series of posts dedicated to these sweet departed princes.

Let's talk, then, about a character that I really, really miss in Game of Thrones. Viserys Targaryen. Or as I like to call him, V-Targ. "Wait what?" you say. "That creepy psychotic bastard with the over-processed hair?" YES. That one. Let me be serious for a second here guys. Viserys ticks all my boxes. He pushes all my buttons if you know what I mean. Let me break it down for you. This is what I like in a character: 1) A vaguely elf-like appearance; 2) Angsty/upset all the time; 3) Incestuous leanings?; 4) English accent; 5) SO MISUNDERSTOOD YOU DON'T GET WHAT KIND OF SHIT HE HAS TO PUT UP WITH GUYS; 6) I mean seriously misunderstood; 7) So fucked up and awful that you end up feeling sorry for him just because he's so deluded; 8) Weird bone structure; 9) Sneering all the time; 10) Cool outfits. As you can see, Viserys fills every requirement. I can't possibly express how much I just love his character. He's a ludicrously vile guy, but by the time he ends up being gruesomely and horrifyingly murdered (GOLDEN CROWN'D!), you find yourself going, "Aw. That was a bit harsh," cocking your head and tutting. Which means, of course, that he's a brilliant character and we should all mourn his passing by looking at pictures of his face.

Therefore I've compiled some visual aids to help us in remembering his life as a power hungry yet lovable douchebag. Let's take a moment of silence.

Aw yeah do that creepy incest face you know I like.
"Check out Khal Drogo. My hair's better, right."
"God! You all suck! This sucks!" he sneered.
Chilling with that guy from Downton Abbey.
Ahahaha! Haha! Yeahhh, laughing with beardy man. Good times.
"Ugh, nobody takes me seriously around here."
I can't think of a good caption for this. Someone help me. HIS FACE IS DISTRACTING ME.