Fantastic Movies You Aren’t Watching, Part 1

I have an arsenal of movies that I hopelessly recommend to anyone who will listen – and what typically happens next is that these movies still go unwatched – unless I’ve wrapped the person up in a straight jacket and eye gaugies a la A Clockwork Orange (another flick that I’ll get awkwardly excited about if someone mentions it, or if I ever hear any combination of the words “clock” “work” and “orange” in the same sentence) and stuck them on the couch, forcing them to look out for the good parts.


It’s been well documented that my taste (in everything) runs the gamut from shit or cannon worthy. But movies and TV are a special spectrum. Most of the shit flicks I like I like just as as a guilty pleasure – some have indefinable qualities (or at least qualities that I’m not willing to mention in public) that keep me re-watching them against my will (looking at you, Twilight). But some of the movies on my No One Cares But Me List are damn good – the limited release or straight to video gems that got passed over at Blockbuster for big budget babes. So I’ve decided to unleash them here in all their glory. Because everyone in my audience listens to every word I say. Right? Right. Let’s go!

Clay Pigeons


Clay (wee baby Joaquin Phoenix) is a small town auto mechanic who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, all the time. After he witnesses his best friend’s suicide, he befriends killer Lester (surprisingly fantastic Vince Vaughn), a charasmatic truck driver who’s drifting through town, and suddenly finds himself a suspect in a string of murders. Janeane Garofalo is in it, since it’s a late 90’s independent comedy. Of course, but she’s playing a surly FBI investigator, but she’s basically perfect.

The trailer is shit – but trust me, the movie is gold. It’s a who-dunnit crime comedy, and even though the plot is pretty transparent and predictable, the writing is amazing with a surprising amount of depth to the characters, and the performances are so damn good – I contend that it’s the best Vince Vaughn has ever been.


My highschool boyfriend introduced me to this movie on one of those “let’s hang out and try to be friends even though it’s incredibly awkward because I broke your heart and you’ve been near suicidal for months” hang times (high school was hard, ok). I instantly hated him for showing me an amazing movie that I wanted to re-watch immediately, but couldn’t because it was connected to him (seriously, it’s hard to be 16). But the next morning I went out and bought a copy. It was worth the heart break.

Drop Dead Gorgeous


Another late 90’s murder crime comedy – but this one’s set in Minnesota and everyone has the Minnesota Nice happening. It’s fantastic.

A documentary crew travels to Mt. Rose Minnesota to cover the town’s biggest event – the Sarah Rose Cosmetics Teen Princess beauty pageant. This year’s top contestants are the Evil Daughter of the Richest Family in Town, Becky (Denise “Only One Without an Accent” Richards) and the Sweet Girl from the Trailer Park with a Heart of Gold, Amber (Kirsten Dunst, preparing for her Fargo role). Becky’s over zealous mom/organiser of the pageant, Gladys (played to a T by Kirstie Alley), is determined to see her daughter win. And as contestants start dying in mysterious circumstances, Amber realises she’s the main target. Rut-roh.


Michael Patrick Jann (The State) directs a perfectly drawn cast that’s chuck full of great ladies from the 90’s – including an up and coming Amy Adams, a hysterical Allison Janey, and still-super-cute-era Brittany Murphy. It has all the qualities of a great dark comedy: great writing, perfect timing, and dead-on mockumentary deadpan. I love it.

Film and Television

I don’t remember the first time I saw this – I think my parents brought it home from Blockbuster one night and we all thought it would be bad, but that’s what you get for assuming. After I moved to Sydney, I had an itch to watch it – and that itch lasted for almost 2 years, because you can’t stream it anywhere. And then I found it on SBS On-Demand. And there was much rejoicing (from me, not so much Joel, who isn’t in to crime comedy, just crime movies).

Hedwig and the Angry Inch


Hedwig was a boy from East Berlin who got a botched sex change operation in order to marry an American soldier. The soldier abandons her in Kansas with no money and no job. Hedwig meets and falls in love with Tommy, and they become a song writing duo, but Tommy ends up stealing her songs and making it big, leaving her in the dust. Hedwig shadows his national tour, playing shitty venues on the same night, trying to reclaim her piece of fame, but mostly, searching for love – her other half.


I’ve blogged about this movie before, a few years ago. It’s perfect. It’s everything a rock musical should be – exciting, smart, fun, and emotional. I fell in love with it in the first few minutes, and it’s damn well a part of my soul now. Just watch it.

Fun fact: Heaps of famous people have donned the wig for Hedwig on and off broadway – including NPH himself.



There you have it folks. Fire up your Amazon Prime or other probably cheaper and more accessible streaming services and get to it.

And let me know how much you love them, ok? Because you will.


Burfday 32

Let me tell you about my friend, 3 Day Birthday Weekend. She was pretty badass, and her surprise visit helped me jump into 32 with much awesomeness.

Here’s what happened: on Thursday night, we made chilli hotdogs and watched Goodfellas. We decided to go hard core with the chilli dogs and we replaced the buns with Turkish bread rolls. The result was CHILLI DOG MOUNTAIN, a gut busting pile of meat and bread and coleslaw that left us struggling to live after we cleared our plates and feeling ill afterward. I’m not sure why we felt compelled to have a whole pile each. This meal shall hence forth be known as “Chilli Dog Hubris”


On Friday, we woke up to eggs and bacon, and made our way to my mothership – Ikea. I could go to Ikea every weekend, because Ikea is goddamn awesome. It’s a wonderland of Swedish modular design, $1 hotdogs, and words with Ü’s in them – much awesome. But really, I love walking around the show room and touching everything in the tiny apartments. Joel likes Ikea, too, but not on the slightly concerning level that I do. And he really hates crowds. But he came along because he loves me. Yes.

calm down there, buddy.

Although, now that I live in a tiny apartment, I’m bummed out that Ikea’s definition of teeny tiny apartment living and reality’s definition of teeny tiny apartment living are drastically different. I would love to see a 500sqft Ikea apartment where the kitchen is in the lounge and the lounge is actually a small rectangle shaped room that’s a lounge/dining room/office/bedroom and where you can’t nail or drill into, or use command hooks on ANY the walls. Show me how you’d make this space the most efficient, Ikea. SHOW ME.

Things we want but have no room for for $500, Alex.

After some fantasizing about a place big enough for a butcher block kitchen island and full size sofas and comfy arm chairs, we wandered to the market place to get what we came for – new dishes. No more stolen plates with scrape marks and no more stolen pint glasses. Come over for dinner, and you’ll be served on the finest stonewear that Sweden has to offer (totally). And your spoons and forks will be shiny and matching. We are officially adults.

matchy matchy
We also picked up some wooden salad bowls and turrets.
adult living

I really wanted to get a shelving unit that would make better use out of the space we have for Joel’s camera gear, but we didn’t plan it very well and couldn’t agree on what would work best. So instead of buying something that might work, we just scrapped the plans altogether – like a real person would do. This was an Audrey first, as I am queen of “just buy it and hope for the best, or return it later.” I feel like I grew up a little.

We left Ikea with our big blue bags and spent the rest of the day napping and obsessively rearranging (ok maybe that was just me). That evening, we met up with some friends at the pub down the street for a few games of pool (I’m improving at a glacial pace, but it’s still fun), and then home for a late dinner and Casino (one of us has been on a crime flick kick. It’s Joel.) 

Saturday brought us MY BIRTHDAY! Joel woke me up with presents in bed, and we had coffee and sat around until it was time for brunch with Joel’s mum’s side of the family.


We finally got to try the Italian place we’ve been curious about, Dulcis Domus. The food did not disappoint, and I was spoiled within an inch of my life because Joel’s family is ridiculously thoughtful when it comes to gifting.

Truffled eggs, grilled halumi and avocado salad on a milk bun – yes plz. And Joel’s Belgian Waffle topped with Strawberry sorbet and served up with 2 fists full of bacon. /drool
Joel’s mum gave me a gorgeous beret, which was quickly absconded by my apparently beret loving boyfriend. And uh… yeah. I’ll allow it. #hot 


Stuffed with lunch, I came home to play with my presents and make the ultimate birthday pie for us to eat that night – Honey Walnut Banana Cream Pie.


And in true Audrey style, I didn’t re-read the basic recipe before I waited til Saturday to make the pie, and thus I forgot that it takes 4-6 hours to set, and is actually best when you let it set overnight. Shit. So I made the pie anyway, and later we had Birthday Ice Cream Pint while we watched Sherpa, a documentary about sherpas rebelling on Mt Everest

eh, close enough.

Sunday I basically spent in planning mode – scouting and measuring and drawing up ideas for our office space:



Followed by lots of reading and chill, an amazing salmon dinner by yours truely, and one glorious Banana Cream Pie photoshoot by Joel.

Not even going to lie, new dishes make me want to eat at the table ALL THE TIME.
An artist prepares
Unghhh get inside me.
Dat honey drizzle.
The pie is good, but Joel’s photos make it look INCREDIBLE.
and I wish I was eating it RIGHT NOW.


All in all, it was a great weekend, full of fat and naps and food and friends and a surprisingly large amount of Ray Liotta.

Last year, my birthday came about during a time when I was really unhappy with myself, my work, my health, and yeah, everything because I was really just in a shit place. I didn’t want anyone to know it was my birthday, I didn’t want presents, and I just wanted to hide. I had a busy day at work combined with a lunch outing that stressed me out because it meant talking to people when I just wanted to lie under my desk in fetal position, then Joel took me out to dinner after work, and not only could I not eat, but I threw up three times. It was awful. And I felt wretched about the entire fiasco, so I set myself up on a strict GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER plan that I of course, failed because giving yourself too many challenging goals too soon is exactly what you need when you have the emotional strength of wet paper. So for the next two month I stagnated, miserably obsessing over who I was and what I was doing and all the time I was wasting. I ended up going from a shit place to a real shit place.

Ah, 31 was a fuckin’ banner year.

I’m much happier to report that this year, I felt the exact opposite. I told everyone who’d listen that it was my birthday. I don’t know if it’s therapy, or the change in jobs, or what – but I feel more … optimistic. Like everything is going to be ok. And last night as we sat in Julian’s kitchen with friends and everyone eating the rest of the Banana Cream Pie on a night that I would have bailed on before, I thought to myself, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”


32 feels good, you guys. And I’m excited.

10 years later

In a couple of days I’ll be 32 years old.


What the fuck.

I should be accustomed to ageing by now, considering that this will be the 32nd time it will have happened, but this year I can look back on 10 years of ridiculous memories in social media, and that does blow my mind a little bit. Also, because I can say “10 years ago” and 10 years ago, I was an adult – I mean, at least legally.

So I thought it would be fun to see what I was up to 10 years ago on the internet. And by fun I mean “I probably shouldn’t do this, but I’m going to anyway.” After an hour of so of cringing (oh early 20’s, why did I document you and your amazing decisions), I found some gems.

10 years ago, I was turning 22. I was still living with my parents and taking summer classes and about to start my 4th year of college in the fall. I had just broken up with my first long term boyfriend, I made about $600/month working at a grocery store, nannying, and as an data entry/housemaid, I had just bought my very own first car, drank 7 cups of coffee a day minimum, and was just starting to really come out of my shell.

Here’s what I looked like:

back when they were MySpace pics – I was champion of the saucy MySpace pic.

I spent a lot of time updating my LiveJournal. I’m not proud of this – but in the days before Facebook statuses, it was fun. Here’s what it looked like:

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 11.08.10 PM
note to self: you dropped the ball on that “figure out life” bit.

And here’s what my life goals looked like:

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 11.25.51 PM copy
Hey – at least I finished my bachelor’s since then. #goals

It all feels like a million years ago. I never thought about how social media would linger. I quit MySpace after a few years, same with LiveJournal. But Facebook is still very much an every day part of my life. So in 10 years when I’m 42 and I’m re-posting this same entry to an even newer and better and probably projected through a hand held hologram device a la Star Wars, I’ll have 20 years of mindless dribble that I’ve clogged the internet with to sift through.

Man… I hope I have a few more subscribers by then.



Ellicott City

I grew up in a military family. That meant moving around from place to place, usually every 3 years. And when I was 9, we found out we would be moving back to Fort Meade, Maryland – a tiny armpit nestled half way between Baltimore and Washington, DC. My parents had been stationed there before (fun fact: they were living on Fort Meade when my mom was pregnant with me and I would have been born there if the hospital’s L&D credentials hadn’t been stripped away due to a suspiciously high infant mortality rate so my parents braved the I-495 rush hour traffic to birth me in DC), and they were really excited to go back.

I can’t remember the first time I was taken to Ellicott City (pronounced Elli-kitt City if you’re a real Marylander). Ellicott City was one of the biggest mill towns on the East Coast back in the day, but by the 90’s, the mill had been closed for ages and historic Main Street had turned into a laneway of shops and restaurants fitted into beautiful historic row buildings. Fun fact, it’s also one of the most haunted cities in America. Most shops have their “own ghost” and will share photos and stories.

The main street area is built along a steep, twisty, turny road, with houses and buildings built in wherever the land was stable. So you have this whimsical little town with boulders and creek beds and great bridges, and lively stores and houses spanning the gorgeous architecture of the 1800-1900’s. The energy was always so good – Ellicott City is a historic town that knows it’s cool, but doesn’t care. It’s that old city charm – complete with grand department store window fronts and and old movie theatre turned creepy gift shop.

It’s a little place, but I love it.

I remember driving with mom when I was a kid, almost every weekend, through the curvy back roads and hunting for parking so she could go shopping at Cottage Antiques (i.e. so she could torture us kids). We’d drive across the bridge and under the Ellicott City sign, and I’d see the fairy lady blowing bubbles and trying to get people to go in her crystals shop (there was a huge unicorn stuffed animal in the window that I died over). I’d demand to stop in The Nature Nook so I could play with the animal figures that were too expensive to buy. I had my very first scone at Fisher’s Bakery. My mom worked at a fabric shop there called The Quilt Studio which was basically a giant room stacked to the gills with fabrics and sewing supplies. I played on the big rocks and in the little waterfall creeks. I loved to sit under the big clock and watch all the cool people reading books and smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee and I thought that being a coffee drinking hipster in Ellicott City was the highest level of cool one could ever attain*. I still crave tuna sandwiches from Tawney Town, and hot coffee from that place who’s name I can NEVER remember, but it was just before the bridge. I still regret not getting a tattoo from Bill, even though I sat with my friends who go their tattoos, and he even tattooed my brother Josh. I want to go back to the basement of Ellicott Mills Brewery with the Batman Bartender to have more nights that I can’t remember with my most favourite people ever.

My heart breaks to see the photos of the flood damage. No other town has held such a prominent place in my life – from being a little kid playing with lions and tigers on the rocks, to being an adult and drinking away joys and sorrows with friends. It’s sad to think that most of this town that I love, that I grew up with, that was so inspiring to me, is torn apart.



I can’t think of any other place that was such a fixture of my life – from a little kid playing with lions and tigers to an awkward teenager embarrassed to be walking around in public in my riding clothes to a drunk adult making questionable decisions.

on the rocks with my bro-sisters Scott and Odie in 2005. 

My thoughts are with the families who lost everything that night. And my heart is with Ellicott City.


*still haven’t reached that level of coolness. One day. #goals