Monday, July 31, 2006

Opening Line: 31 July 2006

"We've laid the cables and the wires"

Best alliteration in a song: ever. Name that song and the artiste...

UPDATE: George, of course got this... pre-emptive reader! We'll be back shortly...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Opening Line: 30 July 2006

"Best of all...all the things in this world that's worth a look"

Never fails to make me cry.... If you don't know this song, find it, listen to it and treasure it. It's a gem.

Name of song and artiste?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Opening Line: 29 July 2006

"I was never cool in school"

Come on... I know at least ONE person who will get this instantly!

Name that song and artiste...

UPDATE: and the credit... well, let's say Marie gets FIRST prize and Anna gets to harrass her dad for Broadband access...

Friday, July 28, 2006

An only child

Not like me at all.
The only child is self-assured from all that attention and selfcritical from all that scrutiny; sure of his opinion but loth to raise his voice to make it heard.


Heather Jones, the head of Highclare junior school, says of the only children in her care, "We don't notice a difference in terms of them being bossy or selfish. Their concentration span is greater because they're used to sitting down and completing something. They are more confident in their relationships with adults. They are self-assured and articulate. They are oversensitive sometimes, and some of the parents of only children do ..." she struggles to be diplomatic, "...overreact to things the girls say have happened at playtime, whereas the parents of bigger families aren't so focused on the troubles of one little person."

"I think if you've got older brothers or sisters, you take the knocks," says Georgina's mother, Gill. "They say awful things to you and you walk away and forget it. Whereas with Georgina, a week doesn't go by when I don't get her off the bus and she says, you'll never guess what so-and-so said to me."

"Everything is very serious when you're an only child," Joanna says. "If you get a criticism, it's the end of the world - it's a disaster. Things reach a crisis very quickly over relatively minor things. You're the apple of everybody's eye, and so when somebody says something nasty, you take it to heart."

There is the problem of perfectionism; only children are always comparing themselves to people who are bigger and more accomplished and it can introduce a kind of precocious performance anxiety. During school assembly, Joanna says, Martha gets very anxious about other children not knowing their lines. "She will take on accountability for things that are really nothing to do with her."
Especially not that last bit...

Preloaded posts

You may spot some pre-loaded posts for the next few days. Bear with me, we're having a little trip away.

John Green takes the Normblog profile VERY seriously...

No really, he does... honestly.

More mischief from the King of mischief. Go read and delight.

Queen for a day

Just such a heart-warming tale. Girls reject being a carnival queen and a gay boy wants the job. And gets it.

Hard to know whether to hug those who awarded the role to him, the boy himself, or the girls who refused to play ball on being expected to like being carnival queens. How about everybody gets a hug.

But probably not the dip who thinks that using the phrase "political correctness gone mad" still constitutes a well-thought through argument.

Tale courtesy of my new-relocated obsession with Shakespeare's Sister. I can scarcely keep up with all their posts, but when I do it is worth it!

Opening Line: 28 July 2006

"You called me last night on the telephone"

Awh, I LOVE this song.... Anyone know where this comes from?

UPDATE: awh shucks, sorry Moo! Cloudy Neil got this on the second attempt... Teenage Kicks? Really?! As evry ful know that begins with the immortal line "A teenage dream's so hard to beat, every time she walks down the street"

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Praise for Five Leaves

Great to read in the Guardian by David McKie a bit more about the wonderful Five Leaves press (based in Nottingham). They are such a fab press and we pretty raided everything we could afford by them at the Lowdham Book Festival recently.

And if you're reading this, I haven't forgotten our email exchange but work has been a little frantic. I'll be getting back to you shortly...


Yet again Shakespeare's Sister come up with the goods. We can all pick fault in other people's sense of humour, but this is one of the best analyses of what is and isn't fair game in humour that I have read in a long time.

Of course there are some readers here who will fail to see the point and will probably make some intentionally offensive remark in response. A bit like, ooh, I don't know, perhaps a certain commentor on my last post from Shakespeare's Sister...

We would say you too are fair game, but frankly you're not worth it.

Crossing the line

Great post over at Shakespeare's Sister that should have you raging. Legislation has just been introduced that would make it a federal crime to help an under-age girl escape parental notification laws by crossing state lines to obtain an abortion.

There are SO many things wrong with that law that it is hard to know where to start. Thankfully we have the articulate crew at Shakespeare's Sister to help out.

Marie for the prize...

Oh dear. I really must make sure I'm not drinking when I read anything that Marie writes. This gem from the comments box of MediumRob in response to a post saying that a prize for some (lucky?) person will be for William Shatner to record an answerphone message for you:
I'm William Shatner and this is Marie's answerphone. I would shag David Tennant for a bowl of sugar, especially if he is in his Doctor outfit and I am in my Trek uniform. Please leave a message after the tone describing what you'd like to see us do.

Posted by: Marie | July 26, 2006 6:11 PM

Though obviously, I don't actually want to see that at all and am already regretting having thought of it.

Posted by: Marie | July 26, 2006 6:12 PM
Too, too funny...

Opening Line: 27 July 2006

"Chance dreams that cut across the bed, leaving colours there instead"

Any takers on this opening lyric?

Just as a foreworn I may post up tomorrow my lines for the nest few days as we're due to take a brief sojourn visiting friends.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bond misogyny

Marie is both funny and incisive on the topic of The Man with the Golden Gun, the classic three-nipple nonsense of a Bond film:
"My god. It was like entering a museum of misogyny. I have truly never seen anything like it.


The entire final third of the film is based on Mary Goodnight's (Britt Ekland's) stupidity. If it wasn't for her, we could all go home half an hour early for a nice cup of tea. I can't begin to list all the idiotic things that she does, but here are a few: getting stuck in Scaramanga's boot (his car boot, but I wouldn't put it past her to actually get stuck in a shoe), nearly falling out of a plane mid-flight, blowing up an entire island by punching a man into a vat with a sign above that says 'Don't punch men into this vat or the island will explode', nearly killing Bond by accidentally pushing a red button with her bikini-clad bum - obviously, by now she is wearing a bikini, for NO REASON WHATSEVER. The bit where she flaps around in front of a computer console with a big lever on it that's labelled 'on / off', failing to switch it off, bleating "I don't understand! I don't see what I have to do! Help me James!" like some kind of proto-Crystal Maze contestant had me abandon the fried chicken for chewing on bits of my sofa. She also gives Roger Moore plenty of opportunities for leaning back against a 1970s sports car / evil supercomputer / dead henchman with a look of dismay mixed with long-suffering amusement on his face, saying lines like "Pah! Women!" and stroking the lapels of his safari suit. It's fully brilliant. And of course he shags her at the end.

Read it all. Enjoy and marvel. And then note the wise words of MediumRob in the comments on the nature of Bond books and films:
" [The Man With the Golden Gun] pales into insignificance compared with the offensiveness of the book "Goldfinger", which among other things has Bond beating up women, describing Koreans as no better than monkeys (or was it dogs), "curing" a lesbian (who was only a lesbian in the first place because her uncle raped her) by being a real man and then sleeping with her. Und so weiter."
To which Stuggling Author adds:
"Ah yes, the toned-down, inoffensive subtlety of the Bond film adaptations..."
"I love the thought of Fleming fans stomping out of the Bond films complaining that they're too tasteful and refined."

Weird text

Hmmm. I got this text at 8.17am today:
"He he its way biga than average, half way up my 6 pack so sendi u pic wud shock u at ful mast.Gav"
Sortly followed by:
"Sory fink I mistyped the number then & texted u"

Ya think?!

Note to Cloud: I know you have previously tempted to go to the trouble of setting up fake email accounts just so you can pretend to be certain people emailing me (even if my heart stopped for SPLIT second I did always rumble you quickly - mostly by your inability to not laugh at my momentary panic), but please don't take to getting another phone to text me...

Screaming girls

Hee. Thanks to Paul at PulpMovies for directing me to this little gem. Suitable trailer for all Beatles and fans of a certain Spaced spin-off movie project.

Dead Body Squad

Did anyone else watch Cutting Edge on Monday? How soon before the incredibly dry and witty Matt from the show about The Dead Body Squad gets offered his own TV show?

Scene: surveying the carnage of a flat where a guy had everything stored in his flat on the floor, including taking to peeing in countless cola bottles and carefully wrapping each poo in sheets of newspaper to be neatly piled up:
"You could definitely say his Dyson had packed up."

Scene: talking to some inquisitive under-tens about his job he explains his current recruitment drive:
"I'm looking for some children of your size to get into the small spaces I can't reach; are you interested in working Saturday mornings?"

Scene: complaining about the lack of people entering his profession of 'body-jobs' (clearing up decomposed bodies) and clearing houses of debris:
"Our recuitment drive at Eton this year didn't go too well... but we hope for better things from Oxford next year."
All delivered in a dead-pan voice. Genius.

The kind of Xmas Doctor Who spoiler that you can cope with

Now who would like to get their hands on some of those notes? And how long before e-Bay has them?

Opening Line: 26 July 2006

"I heard she drove the silvery sports-car along the empty streets last night"

Ah, such a lovely, lovely song....

Storage and organisation

Sorry to disappoint you Fuzzboy, but I'm afraid I go for the ordinary alphabetical system, though I do tend to group by genre for various artist collections, or stick compilations from magazines all together, and those of certain genre/record label collections (eg Constellation).

How dull am I?


Ah, Jo. You have brightened my day with a reminder of how good this show could be. Everyone now: hum that A-Team theme...


Oh well that will pretty much do for most of the people I know who watch the show: without Gil*, what would the show be? Still, lucky old those who maybe get to see him in the theatre...

Hat tip to MediumRob.

BTW I have to say it has only just occurred to me that Gil would/could be short for Gilbert. i have to say I jsut don't see the character growing up with the name Gilbert. What else would it be short for?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Opening line: 25 July 2006

"Every single night the same arrangement"


Anyone out there who can get this opening lyric?

UPDATE: Moo (new addition to the blogroll - if its worked!) - has got this right. Now doesn't it juts make you want to go home and slap on the DVD!?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Opening Line: 24 July 2006

Kept ya'll waiting eh?

"In the future all this will be yours"

Any takers for this track? The band have long since come and gone but I'm still fond of this track.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bluffers guide

Much debate and response to the Andrew Collin's bluffer's list of films from this week's Radio Times over at Fisking Central.

Of course, all lists are silly, but still we love doing them and criticising them.

Spelling millen...

"Which should it be? One 'n' or two?"

"Oh I don't know... why don't we have both and then we're bound to have it at least half right..."

Imaginary conversation regarding these signs????

Photo by Rullsenberg

Photo by Rullsenberg

A lovely day in stripes

Every year I meet up with a select number of former students and colleagues/lecturers from my days teaching at Wolverhampton University. It's always a lovely occasion, not least because most of us don't see much of each other from one year to the next. But good conversation is had by all, there is usually considerable giggling and exchange of updated gossip about our lives, and we usually squeeze in some culture alongside some eating/drinking together.

But best of all, I always come away feeling good about myself (and that often takes some doing). Okay, so I had a bit of a moment yesterday where healthwise I flagged, but emotionally it's always such a good boost.

With heartfelt hugs to all who made it, and those who didn't, thanks for this annual psychological uplift. Much appreciated people!

Anyway, as a record of the day, I thought that some would appreciate seeing these:

Lisa's legs: Photo by Rullsenberg

Strange graffiti

I've been meaning to post on this for some time now. We found this bit of spray painting on a local walkway in Nottingham.

Sexual confusion: photo by Rullsenberg

Let us call the subject of the writing X (we cut off the name from the pic, though it was scarcely visible) and the writer Y.

Spelling mistakes aside, accusing X in graffiti of being 'heterosexual' sounds a little odd, yes? Under what circumstances would Y scrawl that X "loves hetrosexuals"? Cloud and I imagined the possibility of a militantly gay gang outing one of their number: a kinda 'you're not really gay, you're just pretending'.

Or, alternatively, graffiti scribblers in Nottingham don't know what a hetrosexual (sic) actually is...

Still, what can you expect where in one of the underpass tunnels of a by-pass A-road someone has spray-painted in large letters the immortally existential slogan "why bother"?!

Frog in bowl

Hmmm... no wonder the cat wasn't keen on drinking her water.

Frog in cat's water bowl: Photo by Rullsenberg

Opening Line: 23 July 2006

After yesterday's line (it's a cracking track by the way so I urge you to seek it out), I'll try and actually get you one without the actual title in it.

How about this:

"She said 'there's something in the woodshed...'"

Now I know there are several of you out there who can get this!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Opening line: 22 July 2006

"When we were young nobody died and nobody got older"

With all the talk of nostalgia lately this song seemed very apt. I'd love to know if anyone else out there bought this single 'cos I could never find anyone who had.

UPDATE: well done Chrissie who recognised this instantly from my selections for her. But is there anyone else out there - someone who I haven't already passed this track on to - who recognises it???

Friday, July 21, 2006

Voodoo - me like! A good music link from Robin that George may like

oooh... Robin is good. I like this a ton.

The track is called Voodoo by Spiral Beach (there's a link on the page to play this).

SimonHolyHoses 150 life experiences

I know these are a bit random, but I had SUCH a good time reading through this that I simply had to link to it.

Just a taster:
91. Been in a combat zone (my son's bedroom counts?)

This in from Helen Lisette...

This in this morning from HL:

"Whilst idly day-dreaming on the tram this morning, listening to Russell
Crowe 'Unleash Hell', an image pervaded my reverie: a fellow commuter wearing an ear-piece that had a blue, flashing LED. I wondered; could Cybus Industries and the alternative universe be closer than we think? At a given signal, was this man going to turn into a metallic killing machine and start marching us all off for an 'upgrade'? Should I be worried, or should I perhaps spend less time watching television and more time listening to Russell?"

I would say there's always room for both...

But she's right: who of us post-Cyberman episodes (whether we liked them or not) doesn't now flinch at bluetooth earpieces? Shudder.

Clare's book

She has some now in her hands so if you've been putting off buying The Dying of Delight, now's your chance.

The little meme I couldn't do

Marie is inventing new memes.

What do your last google searches say about you?

Opening Line: 21 July 2006 (and a round-up)

Hi folks.

This has been going for a few days now so I thought I would offer you a daily line AND a round up of the story so far.

Today's opening song line:

"Between Marx and marzipan in the dictionary there was Mary"

That should be do-able...

Anyway, here's a round up of thed daily opening lines so far (and a note of those still outstanding and open for guesses - I've put those in bold):

5 July 2006: "One. She prefers the night to day." - My Life Story, "Twelve Reasons Why" guessed by Neil

6 July 2006: "The word is about, there's something evolving" - Propellerheads / Dame Shirley Bassey, "History Repeating" guessed by Scott Matthewman

7 July 2006: "La da di da, no one ever promised anything, no one ever promised you anything" - no guesses but I gave the answer in the comments. It's by Geneva "No One Speaks"

8 July 2006: "Well it happened years ago, when you lived on Stanhope Road" - Pulp "Babies" guessed by Kerron (but EineKleineRob did get it was Pulp but he couldn't place the track without googling...)

9 July 2006: "I can't sleep tonight, Everybody saying everything's alright" - Travis "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" guessed by Alan

10 July 2006: "It’s that time again when I lose my friends, go walkabout, I’ve got the bends from pressure" - James "Come Home" guesed by Stu_N

11 July 2006: "Straight lines that cut through the scene like you wanted to"
Oooh... this one still hasn't been got. Come on, I know at least ONE reader can get this...
UPDATE: thank you George... you didn't let me down!

12 July 2006: "Here I stand, head in hand, turn my face to the wall" - The Beatles, "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" guessed by Kerron

13 July 2006: "I wanna know where the weather is cold" - David Thomas and Two Pale Boys "Man in the Dark" eventually (kinda) guessed by Neil

14 July 2006: "My story is much too sad to be told" - Ella Fitzgerald "I Get a Kick Out of You" guessed by Stu_N

15 July 2006: "They cried the tears, they shed the fears up and down the land" - The Clash "Hitsville UK" guessed (as hoped) by Reidski selected in honour of me and Neil meeting up with him and JJ

17 July 2006: "I guess I kinda sort of know I ought to be..."
No takers on this one yet.

18 July 2006: "Take me out tonight" - The Smiths/Magic Numbers "There is a Light and it never goes out" guessed by Will and Neil

19 July 2006: "All art is quite useless according to Oscar Wilde" - AHouse, "Endless Art" guessed by Reidski in proof of the fact that NOTHING is obscure if you know it

20 July 2006: "I'm the king's 32nd son" - Regina Specktor, "Oedipus" guessed by George

I'm rather enjoying this...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

That there thing in the sky

Which of course has gone today down here in the city of snot.

Still, you can read here the fun it had up in Aberdeen (via the George).

Opening line: 20 July 2006

"I'm the king's 32nd son"

Listened to this last night. Cracking album. Any takers on this first song line?

UPDATE: I was rather hoping that George would get this...

(oooh, can I say how lovely it to be able to give a link to G!!!!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Life experiences

150 of them. I got this via Jo, but it's been doing the rounds lately. I've put in bold mine I've done and added comments to several.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (might have been small-ish in global terms, but we have climbed/walked a bit. Does Snowdon count?)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula (NEVER!!!!)
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it (I can't remember NOT meaning it, even if only in that one moment)
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped (and so never will)
11. Visited Paris (but I preferred Amsterdam)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise (several times, not always voluntarily)
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (sadly not really...)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip on a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Got drunk on champagne (urgh. Philistine that I am, I prefer Cava...)
24. Given more than you can afford to charity (sometimes)
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (how many times!)
27. Had a food fight (at least once, with my friend Maya)
28. Bet on a winning horse (Cloud, stop laughing. I placed ONE bet...)
29. Asked out a stranger (well, he was strange to me...)
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (must have but can't recall the occasion - repressed it I assume...)
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster (Cloud: NO!)
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (all the time...)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day (not always knowingly...)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (suprisingly often)
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced (and been taken care of when drunk) (well definitely the latter)
42. Had amazing friends (the biggest blessing of my life)
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip (am I missing the definition of "road trip" here??)
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach (yep)
50. Gone sky diving (you're kidding, right?!)
51. Visited Ireland (to my undying shame thus far...)
52. Been heartbroken for longer than when you were in love (possibly)
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds (what?! you mean not EVERYONE does this????!!)
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day (and would do it more often...)
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain (regularly)
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain (not for many years)
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (counting every day as wonderful)
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice (just the once...)
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert" (nope, but I have been on radio - albeit local - as such, and was NEARLY in a documentary about Peggy Guggenheim)
83. Got flowers for no reason (not often, I don't need them, but yes)
84. Performed on stage (does the school production of Joseph count?)
85. Been to Las Vegas (not yet Joe, not yet!)
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house (and lovely it is too...)
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents (cremated actually)
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country (me and things with wheels requiring co-ordination have a difficult relationship...)
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart (they've never told me if I did...)
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (what?! The biggest ever clue this list is American...)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (not that trusting...)
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (hee. Yep. Promoting art exhibitions in Wolverhampton. Local press counts, yeah?)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about (hopefully)
130. Gone back to school (after working I did OU and then returned full time to study)
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (translations count?)
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read their work (possibly: I didn't read that much at school)
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (indeed...)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (sometimes.... ;) and sometimes too much!)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair (would you want crappy mousey hair? Me neither...)
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Golly, that was quite fun! Ah, go on....

Reviewing Last Days

SimonHolyHoses has a very good review of the enigmatic film "Last Days" over at the HolyHoses site. It's not a film I have seen, but his discussion of it certainly beats many of the reviews I had previously read. Whether I would actually want to see it is another matter, though it has always intrigued me since I first started reading about it.

Buffy 8

Via Jo.


Marie's genius list of things men have to put up with

Just so funny. And according to MediumRob barring one minor error of female judgement regarding Bruce Willis, true.

WARNING: Do NOT eat or drink whilst reading it or you will splutter, choke, or generally look really stupid.

Men: how do you put up with life?

Women: be nice to a man today! (in fact, go on, go mad. try and make it a life choice to be nice...)

Opening Line: 19 July 2006

"All art is quite useless according to Oscar Wilde"

I will be VERY impressed if anyone gets this, but it's a quirky track both Neil and I love.

If it helps any, they're Irish...

UPDATE: well done Reidski. I had wondered if this was 'obscure' but like I've said bfore, they're only obscure if you don't know them!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Opening Line: 18 July 2006

"Take me out tonight"

Easy one this. Any takers for this opening song line? I'll do a recap later this week on the ones already done and those outstanding.

UPDATE: picked up by Will and Neil. Kudos to both!

Troubled Diva's Mercury predictions...

Here. The nominations are officially announced at 11.30am today 18 July 2006.

Munros in the key of George

Over the past year I've posted a few really nice pictures from the photographs of our lovely friend George who now lives up in Scotland: for example, here.

Anyway, having spent a bit of time getting it settled in, George has now contacted me to reveal he now has his own blog, suitably named "Munros in the key of George". All very exciting and as you would expect including some spectacular images.

Ah, go on. Give the boy an audience.

PS first pictures on the site are of George! In a kilt!

PPS UPDATE: Just a visual reminder of George's typical pictures...

Monday, July 17, 2006


What excuse can we use to entice him to come to the school where my friend Helen Lisette is a governor?


Ah, as Norm remembers, what a great film Fargo is; certainly a stand-out from the Coen's catalogue. The Big Lebowski, as much as I now love it, didn't have the same immediate hit on me as Fargo. But then Fargo does have such a perfect quality to its narrative and characters.

Note to Norm: sadly, I think you'll see a drastic tailing off in their later output. Sorry, but true.

To the stage door...

Ah, so nice to see that I'm not the only one who is tempted to visit the stage door. This is a lovely post from Gert with an especially warm and witty summary of the perils/pluses of wanting to see stars after a performance.

Opening line: 17 July 2006 (sorry I missed yesterday)

"I guess I kinda sort of know I ought to be"

Any takers as to what song this comes from?

UPDATE: sorry. Forgot to update date of post.
UPDATE 2: also the title is the next phrase... (that makes it much easier...)

Meeting excitement

As expected - and thankfully as also reported here - the meeting with JJ and Reidski was every bit as brilliant as we hoped. The pub was fab, the food was great (and cheap, cheap, cheap!) and the company and conversation sublime.

JJ is a darling, Reidski is utterly charming, and as a couple they are just the most in-love pairing seen in a long while.

What a fab way to spend a Saturday night! It proper made up for there being no Doctor Who...

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Should someone explain to Justin that the one who did all those faux-English accent roles was her and not her and that the former is now married to him and producing children with names like this and this?

Just a thought that the boy might be a little confused...

Song of Shame

Just had a brilliant time reading this post over at Shakespeare's Sister: "iPod confessions: Your song of shame".

Since I don't have an iPod I'll have to think about this a bit. But you can offer up your thoughts in the meantime. But there are rules to this. It HAS to be a song you love for starters.

I'll think about what mine would be if you tell me yours...?!

What memories are not made of

Two wonderful posts by SimonHolyHoses in a reflective mode and Reidski putting into context his own thoughts of looking back.

The period both are talking about? 1976. Thirty years ago.

I was 9, going on 10 in the summer of 1976, so my thoughts are not as sharp as other contributors. I was still at the stage where singing Abba songs with my friend next door constituted a highlight activity; where building chalet huts with timbers left in the field that backed onto our house provided endless entertainment.

But reading both of these posts set certain things in context for me. My parents were a little older than most of my peers (45 and nearly 52 in the summer of 1976) and for them, especially my dad, there was a rawness to looking back to the second world war of which I can hardly conceive. Mum would have just left school; dad was already a POW under British control, destined never to return to his home country again.

When period pieces are done for the stage, film or TV, the one thing they so often get wrong is going for cyphers of the age: as if everyone was as hip to the new things as the fringes were, as if nothing old every hung about in people's living rooms (I mean furniture, not people: granny doesn't count here...)

But what often is captured is that sense of each generation (mostly) misunderstanding the others, of why the war would be so fresh to someone in the 1970s, of why the younger generation would be so baffled by this sense of nostalgia.

I'm sure that as I write, someone out there has either a genetic or psychological explanation (or both) of why these conceptions of time passing and being remembered are as they are. But since we are made up from all our experiences and those of the people around around us, perhaps it would remain more manageable for us to simply accept that our understanding of time is based on the necessity of a given moment. A collision of images and recollections (both real and imagined) that can only make sense when seen in a constantly flexing sphere of thoughts, so that the here and now and the there and then are in a constant state of flux we can never quite pin down and which is different for each individual.

Or I could just be talking pseudo-psychobabble bollihocks. Ah well. It's a hot day...


As readers of JJ should know, today me and Cloud are meeting up with JJ and her lovely man.

Yeah! Very excited! And I even purposely chose the Opening Line for 15 July 2006 with that in mind since it is by a fav of them both!

Opening line: 15 July 2006

"They cried the tears, they shed the fears up and down the land"

If it helps any, I would swear that (The) Arcade Fire ran off with a hint of this track on their album Funeral.

UPDATE: As I both hoped and expected this was nabbed by Reidski. As someone recently said "quite right too..."

Friday, July 14, 2006

A pressie to me

I LOVE my students. And not just 'cos some get fantastic grades and buy me a copy of this.

Sometimes I really REALLY love my job.

Funniest Spike speech

Had the lovely lovely Celeste over last night for tea and a night wouldn't be complete without a Buffy episode. So we had "The Harsh Light of Day" (boo-hiss Parker poophead) followed logically by the follow-up Angel episode "In the Dark".

Fans of each/either show should know that the latter features one of the best speeches written for Spike in the history of the show (IMHO).

"Not the hair! Never the hair!"


Anagrams to fill your day FOREVER

This could lead to some serious distraction...

Opening line: 14 July 2006


"My story is much too sad to be told"

Any ideas as to where this opening line comes from? And whose version would I have?

UPDATE: Stu_N got the song but was way off on the artiste guest. But as I'm a bit addled (I think it's excitement about seeing peeps tomorrow!) I've posted the artist in my comment.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bromley House Library

Last night Cloud and I visited Bromley House Library for a tour as prospective library members (it's a subscription library). Blimey, it's a crackingly interesting place!

Opening Line: 13 July 2006

So which song does this opening line come from:

"I wanna know where the weather is cold"

After yesterday's quick off the mark offering, how about this?!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Clare has moved

Purpleocity have gone belly it seems so Clare is now here!

Opening Line: 12 July 2006

No takers for yesterday (though I think that he who would get it may be off-line at the mo) so here's another

"Here I stand, head in hand, turn my face to the wall"

Really, REALLY easy.

UPDATE: so yes Kerron, it really WAS that easy! (see comments!)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Interesting piece on the Royal Court theatre

Would be interested to know what Anna thinks of this polemic.

Opening line: 11 July 2006

"Straight lines that cut through the scene like you wanted to"

At least one visitor here will get that...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Amplifico Webathon

Can I urge you all to hop over and see/hear the lovely Amplifico at MySpace. And if you're feeling generous and want to get the band towards completing their album, donate something here.

Truly worthwhile. They're a bit of a well-kept secret (though obviously not in our house (thanks George!) but they're just fab and with a wonderful line in humour as well (as demonstrated in the film!)

Give! Give! Give!

Dealing with the BNP

Jo nails what needs to be done in her excellent additional comment to this post:
No more “are you thinking what we’re thinking” campaigns, no more pandering to the right on immigration instead of standing up for people’s rights.

We need to be positive about immigration, positive about multiculturalism and positive about asylum. We should be proud of the fact that so many people want to come here to work and live, and proud of the fact that the UK is viewed as somewhere safe, a great place to start again.

In short, we need positive messages to counter the fear and resentment and consequent xenophobia that is at the heart of any campaign run by BNP.

Opening Line: 10 July 2006

It’s that time again when I lose my friends, go walkabout, I’ve got the bends from pressure

Any takers?

UPDATE: Stu_N has spotted the culprits (see comments)

At least I think that's the right link for him...

Old jokes are the best

It's a cracker.

Hat tip to Norm and the concept of time immemorial jokes unlimited.

Medium Rob tries to distract from grumbly review of Doomsday by usual tactics

If in doubt, put a picture of David Tennant into your post.

That should keep us at bay.


Well it worked for about three seconds (pale? interesting?)

Nope. There's still a grumbling about this review Rob!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Cloud on the economics of immigration

Wonderful post - I should know because I've been watching him work on it all day - from Cloud on economics and immigration. It's provocative and well-written: and that's always a good thing.

Whedon on equality

Via She-Who-Reads, go take a look at this clip from the Equality Now ceremony. The wonderful Joss Whedon is introduced by Meryl Streep and then goes on to give the most incredible, witty and incisive speech about equality.

Damn. I really want to rewatch Serenity and Buffy right now...

It's okay - we DO exist

In the face of unbridled annoyance and much shouting of "I'm here!" Mary D has written to acknowledge that women bloggers do exist.

Thanks to patroclus for this and I'm just sorry it took me a couple of days to spot the update.

NB I have to add that right now I'm imagining a scene rather like Spartacus: "I'm a woman blogger!" "I'm a woman blogger"... though unfortunately I am of course spoiled by Monty Python with the thought of someone adding "I'm a woman blogger and so's my wife" which totally ruins the Python joke but never mind...

Opening Line: 9 July 2006

Today's lyric line:

"I can't sleep tonight, Everybody saying everything's alright"

For me, this is endlessly bound up with my first trip to NYC.

UPDATE: Well done Alan for spotting this. Answer in the comments folks.

So very (nearly) wrong, wrong WRONG...

So shoot me. Somethings are just easier to 'fess up on the net.

Today Cloudy Neil and I went to town. Bit of pootely* shopping was in order (if only to stop me want to rewatch Doomsday again).

He was after some new trews. Check. Got them. And DVD-R's for him. Check. And new sunglasses (a lens fell out of the old ones). Thrice check. Then he started getting distracted by shirts. Hmm...

You remember what happened last time he wanted to buy a shirt. Well this time it was my fault entirely.

To give me credit it was Neil who picked up the shirt in Zara's and said how nice it was. It was. It was off-white with a nice outlined flowery pattern. Not at all city brokery style (which covered most other things available. And being Zara's it wasn't going to break the bank).

The problem was I just could not help but have in my mind's eye THIS shirt, so the scenes of Neil hunting for this shirt in his size not only had me publicly grinning and affirming his taste but also had me biting my lip in agony every time he turned away.

I mean, really, it's just wrong (please don't all rush at once to agree, I know, I know...)

Thankfully, I think, in the end the only one that remotely fitted wasn't pefect and as he often does he ducked out of the purchase at the last minute. Either that or he saw my glinting eyes and thought better of it...

Mind, it never stopped him buying his blue and pineapple patterned shirt. And trust me, there was a definite wryness to my expression when he decided on that gem.

* come on - you know what pootling is?

Anna's view on Doomsday (SPOILERS)

I know that some of you will have missed it. I know that for some they won't yet have had the chance to see it.

Either way, for those who haven't watched the finale of Doctor Who new series two yet (Doomsday), don't read what's below.

But I have to say that Anna's right you know, about the unecessary pilfering from His Dark Materials for one. It wasn't without flaws. But we all know what was really important about this episode, and why I could never have written about it last night when I was too raw, too drawn to flashbacks in my mind. So I waited for Anna (apt huh?!) and she writes this fabulous little paragraph that totally captures my thoughts:
The look on his face as he leant his head against the wall... well, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. He didn't need to cry to show us what this meant, just an expression that conveyed utter desolation, as though his very soul (daemon?) had been ripped out. He could have played the rest of the series with a limp and I would still forgive him. That look was incredibly special. As for Billie, well she was as brilliant as she has been all through the two series she has graced, enriched, improved. Passionate and inconsolable, she was the perfect foil to DT's quietly broken Doctor. The whole separation scene was bravely shot too, giving the viewers a good four or five minutes of nothing but reaction to the separation.
Bloody right. Absolutely bloody right. And her prefixing remark to that well expressed review - that if David T (bless him) was allowed to be a little calmer, a little less boggle-eyed manic (even if he does it with great panache and enthusiasm) he would truly be the Doctor he is capable of being - well I agree with that too.

The thing is, it HAS been a rocky season, perhaps because our hopes were (too/so) high. After waiting SO many years for the return to the TV screens, getting it back at all was glorious; that the new series in 2005 was as good as it was made it even more thrilling, for both new and old fans alike. So perhaps some of the novelty did wear off. And hindsight, distance, doesn't half lend enchantment to the view of the previous incarnations of the Doctor let alone some of the truly dire stories we had back then.

Still, the true point, perhaps the only point after yesterday is this.

I cried.

I cried not just because Rose is leaving - I warmed to her more than I thought possible when I had first heard of her casting (yes, yes, but really, had there been THAT much in her CV to suggest this level of acting ability? She has been a real gem for the series without doubt, even when she has had too little to do).

I cried because there was more acting going on from the cast in relation to the separation than we could have dared hope for (even though we knew they were all capable of it). I would have paid my licence fee several times over just for the shot of the two of them touching the wall, horribly aware of how far they were separated. I would have paid it a thousand times over again for the shot of the Doctor's tears, alone in the TARDIS.

I would pay it up just for how gutted I was that Rose 'died'. Because I could appreciate that for her, no matter how much it meant to have her family back together, for her to lose the Doctor was death, a death that ripped her heart into pieces.

And I thought of Sarah Jane and how no one could live up to that one figure in her life.

It was apt to end things on a shoreline, on an endless greying sea. Because I suspect that was exactly how Rose felt: washed out on a tide of tears.

Gee, that videotape of mine from this episode is gonna be worn out darn soon.


This from casirafics over at live journal
Why is there not some alternate universe I can hop off to where I... well, first of all, can finish this sentence without sounding like a fangirl with a slightly alarming crush? That would be helpful. And then I can get on to doing something about the actual wish list. ;)
Sorry, I needed something to make me smile.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Crockatt & Powell - forthcoming events

Everybody's favourite London booksellers have got some upcoming events. Check them out!

Unite Against Terror

To mark the anniversary of the 7/7 bombings, Unite Against Terror posts an Arabic translation of its founding statement - so far signed by over 3000 people.

Ah the loss of language

Skuds makes a great point here.

'Nuff said.

Opening Line: 8 July 2006

Come on guys, this one you HAVE to get.

"Well it happened years ago, when you lived on Stanhope Road"

Ya'll don't get this, there is no hope!

UPDATE: Well done to Kerron who correctly identified this. Consolation kudos to EineKleineRob though.

Oh and by the way, my remark in the comments refers to the bite-your-lip gloriousness of the spoken-word video version of the song. It's the same as the second release video for the track (JC in that lime-green shirt!) but with a breathy spoken dialogue instead of the vocal singing track.


Friday, July 07, 2006

On the First World War

Before I go tonight, I had to direct you to Simon Holy Hoses post on the First World War. Not only does it capture brilliantly how and why so many have become fascinated by that historical event, but it also makes an interesting case for why our remembrance might be changing.

Diving for pearls

I really should have linked to this earlier, but thanks to Cloud for reminding me to look at the link over at Norm.

For all those still screeching about a certain footballer's affinity with ground-level.

The Asshole friend

Fantastic philosophical question and debate over at Philosopher's Playground (thanks to Shakespeare's Sister for the recommendation).

This one is all about what to do about friends who are assholes (and yes Anna, someone does mention the excellent "Your Racist Friend" by They Might Be Giants).

For the Pirates

Hee. With the scathing and apoplectic review of the original POTC by Mark Kermode still ringing in my ears all this time later (even though I thoroughly enjoyed it), it is with great delight that I direct you to this whopping 340 long list of continuity and other filming errors.

Thanks be to Waveflux over at Shakespeare's Sister.

To Tennyson

No, silly, not that one. This one.

Gordon's 25

It's still all the rage you know...


A panda fest. 'Cos you all know what I am like about bears...

Thanks to an email from Cloudy Neil.



Thanks be to a Bloglines feed that fed me this gem. Because, you know, you can never beat Billie Piper being given a Mrs Doyle style Welsh dubbed voice.

Opening Line: 7 July 2006

La da di da, no one ever promised anything, no one ever promised you anything

It's two for two on these lines. But will this sneak through?

UPDATE: seems so... answer in the comments

Possibly 29th July?

Hmmm... very bloody helpful. That is of course the weekend I am sojourning in Walsall. And London. At birthday parties and leaving do's. And generally OUT OF REACH OF A TELEVISION (even if I actually HAD bloody Freeview, which of course... grumble grumble grumble).

Anyway, for those of you out there who have that kind of thing and a video recorder (hint, hint), according to someone who was there at the time, a programme I did not get invited to be in the audience for [David, I know it got lost in the post. Please be more careful next time with the stamps] will be aired 29th July.


Dada's women

Thanks to John over at Counago&Spaves, I know that I wish I was in New York and was able to go to this exhibition.

For a year

July 7 2005 to 2006.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I don't know why it has taken me so long...

... but I have FINALLY got around to listening to Rob's MySpace tunes. And you know what, he's bloody good. I mean, I always knew he was 'cos I'm that kind of gal to take such matters on trust, on the basis that when you get to know people you get a sense of trusting their talent. Like I just knew that Clare [either my net or Boob is down at the mo: UPDATE - try Clare here] was a wonderful writer even before I read her novel. Like I know that Marie WILL get there, despite her Father Ted-esque make-up tinkering experience with her novel. Like I know that Anna will be just wonderful in some arts environment, co-ordinating a theatre or something like that. Like I know that Matt_c has way too much intellectual talent to not end up with at least a good book being published or a PhD (or both).

I could go on, but you get the picture. I'm lucky to have such a bunch of talented and lovely people visiting here (and that's without even mentioning my lovely Cloudy Neil who remains one of the smartest people I know). That they can mostly all do things that I can't (music is certainly one of them*) just confirms how brilliant they are.

*Cloud, bless you dearly, but I'm stating now in case you get confused that music is not one of your many talents. Playing the triangle... I'm saying no more...

On memorials and respecting the beliefs of the military dead

Wonderful post and an even more interesting set of comments over at Shakespeare's Sister discussing the US Department of Veterans Affairs' refusal to allow a memorial brass plaque for Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart to include the symbol of his religion. His religion has been recognised by the federal courts since 1986, and prisons across the country also treat it as a legitimate faith, as indeed does the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. military itself.

His religion? Wicca.

It's a fascinating story and even more fascinating debate (watch out for the knots that The Phantom especially gets tied up in during the hailstorm of comments).


Those sweat patches sure are ugly.

Nice birthday greetings for a certain president today. Great list of words there from Shakespeare's Sister.

Now HOW did I just know who had written this...

I promise that when I read this on Matt_c's "Sentence of the Week" post, I totally TOTALLY knew exactly whose writing it was even before I reached the giveaway clue mention of Macca.

Yes folks, that would be Fuzzboy.

Congratulations for writing one of the best - and definitely LONGEST - sentences any of us will see this week!

How cool is that?

Oh, I know it scarcely counts for much, but having joined My Space yesterday specifically to listen to lovely Jarvis, its rather thrilling to see him on the "My Friends" box for my page!

Ooh, I feel all warm inside.

Yes, yes, I am aware that there are umpteen thousands of us! Still rather cool though. I like false intimacy. If I can't have the real thing, I'll settle for that anytime.

The wrong sport

As Norm notes, there was no major problem with the referee last night, just with Portuguese players who clearly were expecting there to be more water around.

And yes, as Norm concludes in the same pithy piece, the other matter is more serious.

Opening Line: 6 July 2006

The word is about, there's something evolving

Another day, another line. Any guesses?

UPDATE: Scott Matthewman got it (answer in comments) so well done Scott!

Is this the first time...

...that the Doctor has been so utterly fanciable that a new companion coming in was even LIKELY to be a bit swoony? I mean, looking back, the different Doctors have been many things, but even allowing for different tastes there can be no denying that some do find la Tennant a tad attractive shall we say (for those in disagreement, really... have you actually watched the guy at his best? ker-thunk!) And this has to qualify as a little unusual as compared to previous inhabitants of the Doctor's body.

Anyway, this brings me back to thinking about Marie's remark yesterday regarding what the forthcoming companion said, namely:
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Reasons to be deeply suspicious of the new Dr Who assistant, number 1:

"It still hasn't quite sunk in, I'm sure it will slam home first day on set when I'm stood gazing at David Tennant."

No. No! You don't get to play his assistant *and* fancy him. No gazing allowed. NO.

// posted by Marie @ 09:10
So it is with no surprise that we note that Marie's new tagline for her blog is suitably irked.

PS sorry for rubbish screen capture...

Marie gets in that all important "BWAH" remark of witty genius

Hee. As if MediumRob didn't know what he may be provoking with this remark from the forthcoming Doctor Who companion about David Tennant:
And the night before that audition, he'd left a little note under my door at the hotel.
Go to the comments to read Marie's quickly witty riposte (made in hope as much as wit?)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Guess the opening line: 5 July 2006

One. She prefers the night to day.

After the fun and frolics of 25 lines, I've set up a series of first lines for daily posts. This one's a doozey (but that may be only to me since I love the song so much).

UPDATE: I meant to say folks, the answers in the comments now, courtesy of Neil.

Everyone's a bloody artist nowadays

Still good fun though.

Hat-tip to MaximumBob.

After troubled times for Trouble Diva, some joy

Belated empathies to Mike and K, especially as for a while there I was worried that the link had gone belly-up. But now he's back and when he brings Jarvo goodies like this, yeah, yeah, yeah that makes me happy.

Even or especially because of the naughty swearing...

On artistry and process

Cracking return to form from our Fuzzboy giving us what he does best: perfectly formed streams of writing on the cultural topics close to his heart. In this case its about the processes and perfection of cultural production - well, at least that's what I think its about. Actually, its just a damn fine rant about "Lester Bangs, The Velvet Underground, Making Movies etc." Go read it.

Sad I missed this bit of art reviewing (it has to be better than much of The Culture Show as [not] caught this year)

Sheesh, it's come to something. I'm actually more bothered that I missed this gem picked up by Skuds than I am at missing most of The Culture Show this series. Saturday nights? Like Anna said some time back: pah.

It's that all important photograph outside Pizza Express

Marie deals with the heat through a very witty (as usual) post about tourists.

And it really is too damn hot.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My name is...

Lisa - and according to this I am "A person who is a master of making ravioli".

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Hat tip to Neil (who has a very cool definition!)

[Sorry, I edited this post because it was naffing up my sidebar. 'Pologies folks. Any BTW answers rotate so no guarantees that I'll still be a master of ravioli next time I do this...]

The reply from Mary Dejevsky

Oh dear, as a follow-up to this, not only is the exchange here at Spinsterella full of the sort of wit and verve and insight, but Mary's D's reply and the comments that follow it are absolutely priceless.

This was the reply:
ii didn't say there weren't any, just that there were fewer. and therereally are. maybe quality makes up for quantity. thanks, regards, marydejevsky
And this was the priceless comment deom nibus that especially had me in stitches:
Mary! The shift key! Before it's too late! Yes, you press it and the letter you want, at the same time. No, the one with the arrow going up. Yes, I know there are two - count how many hands you have and you'll see they match. Yes, that is 'handy'. Sigh.
UPDATE: there is something deeply ironic (or illustrative or Freudian) that in a post mocking someone's poor typing I manage to write an almost Latin-esque typo myself. Any guesses what I could have meant by "deom nibus"? Okay, so the nibus is the commenter's name, but "deom"? Possibly a typo of "made"????!!!

Who else sleeps like a pornographic starfish?

Best line of the day today from Lucy Mangan.

[NB I disagree with her number 6...]

Training teachers in Higher Education

There is much that I agree with in Jonathan Wolff's article in Education Guardian today regarding training teachers in HE.

Maybe I have been lucky, but I rarely had poor lecturers, or poor lectures. Some disinterested me in much the same way that any broad ranging course might (unless you are continually blessed with great lecturers you are unlikely to be charmed by every single topic by every single teacher) but I can't honestly recall any really duff ones. Or even bad tragi-comedy ones like Wolff describes. I do recall vividly a lot of really cracking lectures full of verve and humour and intelligent debates stirred amongst the students. And I recall lecturers whom I loved with a deep and abiding fondness. Several of these I am still in contact with, and each time I meet them or hear of them I feel thrilled that they not only taught me but inspired me to try and emulate them.

Anyway, Wolff ends with the following remarks:
Could these difficult initial years be eliminated? Virtually all universities are now attempting to train new lecturers. From the outside this must look very sensible and welcome. Yet barely anyone claims to having profited from it. Why should this be? Is the training uniformly useless throughout the sector? This would be an astonishingly shameful weakness in institutions whose whole raison d'être, after all, is to teach. Perhaps people with PhDs simply hate the idea of being trained. It is said that the sessions are much more successful if billed as "pooling of experience" rather than "training".

But the underlying problem is probably something else. A new academic is normally employed to fill a teaching and administrative hole left by someone else, and it is very hard to get up to speed, especially while also pushing forward with research. Working absolutely flat out, with no time for the things they really want to do - such as research, and course development - training is just an additional, unwelcome, burden. Unless it is accompanied by a serious re-assessment of the workload of early career lecturers it is bound to be resented, whatever its quality.
I think he's missing something; something he only alludes to in his final paragraph. And that is that whatever he may THINK HE is about, teaching is scarcely the raison d'être at all. I'm sad to say I have heard far too often claims that teaching is something 'anyone can do' (which patently, at least if it is to be done well, it darn well is NOT). As I say, he alludes to the issue in his final paragraph in terms of training but I think it goes deeper than that. Teaching itself is what is undervalued, so it is scarcely surprising that the training to support and inculcate good practice has to be squeezed in on top of innumerable administrative tasks, let alone the all-important series of (unread) publications demanding to be produced.

Regarding Chrissy Iley

I've read the piece a couple of times now, but did anyone else out there feel what I did regarding Chrissy Iley and her piece about meeting Johnny Depp that appeared in the Guardian yesterday?
He is still a pirate, going his own way, living by his own rules, which includes cancelling all his one-on-one international interviews except for me. Now do you see why I love him? Maybe this is because Johnny would never let down anybody that he actually knew. Or maybe it was because the last time we met, I gave him a dildo named Johnny. There was a reason: he had just done The Libertine, playing the sexually omnivorous Earl of Rochester. "It was a gorgeous gift" he says smiling naughtily. "A great gift."


So for now, Johnny Depp is ready to look elegantly wrecked, sashaying into a further pirate adventure before he hangs up Captain Jack's cutlass forever. We hug goodbye and it's a warm and proper hug where I tell him he's lovely and he squeezes me tighter.

Outside, hundreds of the world's foreign press are gathered waiting to kill me because of what went on between me and Johnny in the hotel room.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not making a declaration of envy for her meeting Mr Depp, though he is quirkily charming in his own way. No, I mean in a more general sense that we might imagine that sense of being - or believing ourselves to be - a semi-insider, writing that sort of piece, where the boundaries of fame/non-fame break down at least a little bit.

Somehow it touched me.

Embargos really don't work like they used to do they?

You rather wonder what was the point of even posting it with an embargo time/date since PATENTLY no one keeps to such things.

Thanks to Billy and MediumRob.

Apparantly I don't exist...

And if you're a female blogger, then you also don't exist.

Shheesh, how can people still get paid for writing this kind of bollihocks?

Thanks to OyeBilly who saved me the trouble of going direct to the Indie website to read this nonsense that female bloggers do not exist (the best read of the story is here, so a hat-tip to patroclus for that).

And wasn't Thursday when the Guardian did its piece on female political bloggers mentioning Antonia Bance? Why can't the media just accept that in all its various forms - blogger, live journal, TypePad etc etc - women DO blog. And that we do it as obsessively and enthusiastically and politically and geekily as anyone else?!


Very amusing post over at Matt_c's place. Just thought I'd mention it...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Those 25 lines in full

Would not have expected all these to go, amazed or thrilled that some did. of course EineKleineRob is now giving clues but short of using google I would be more pressed than I would like to admit to name even some of the most famous artists tracks... Damn
  1. Sleep of the Just, The Costello Show, King of America
  2. Remind me a Song, Misty's Big Adventure, The Solar Hi-Fi System
  3. Flutter, Amplifico, Hometakes - Vol 2
  4. Sex is Boring, Ballboy, A Guide for the Daylight Hours
  5. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, Starship, The Ultimate Chick Flick Soundtrack (from Mannequin)
  6. Love's Almighty, Telepopmusik, Angel Milk
  7. Bullets, Editors, The Back Room
  8. Icing on the Cake, Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy, They Call Him Tin-Tin
  9. Wake Up Boo!, Boo Radleys, Wake Up!
  10. Codex, Pere Ubu, Datapanik in the Year Zero
  11. Bitch, Meredith Brooks, Blurring the Edges
  12. Never Win, Fischerspooner, Never Win (single)
  13. Crush in the Ghetto, Jolie Holland, Springtime Can Kill You
  14. Love and Happiness, Al Green, Uncut collection June 2006
  15. A Small Circle of Friends, Phil Ochs, American Troubadour
  16. Saturday Option, Lambchop, What Another Man Spills
  17. You and Me Song, The Wannadies, Essential Soundtracks
  18. Shark, Throwing Muses, Limbo
  19. Wild Horses, The Rolling Stones, Hot Rocks
  20. Tarmac, Hazeldine, Uncut: Sounds of the New West
  21. Brassneck, The Wedding Present, Bizarro
  22. Half Day Closing, Portishead, Portishead
  23. Sugar is Sweeter, CJ Bolland, The Analogue Theatre
  24. Hometown Unicorn, Super Furry Animals, Vox - Class of 96
  25. El Diablo En El Ojo, Tindersticks, Tindersticks II


This just spotted over at the usual centre for news. Spot the key final sentence...

West Wing Quiz!
01/07/2006, 17:00pm BST

David will soon be appearing on the West Wing Quiz:
The enormously popular E4 US import 'The West Wing' is coming to an end soon and the channel are bidding it a fond farewell with a special 'West Wing Quiz'. Rory Bremner will be hosting as two panels of celebrity fans of the show (including Dr Who's David Tennant) pitting their knowledge of the show against each other, for a night of light-hearted competition and fun.
The show will be filmed on 4th July. Tickets are no longer available.
Hurumph. Assume that any news on this was on their forums, but even so I don't think I could have been quicker off MediumRob's mark if I had tried.

Sigh... Well, at least I can stop panicking about checking my work email address every five minutes...

Who saw it coming?

Come on, admit it, even if like Rosby you're as mad as hell at RTD for recycling plot formats, you gotta admit that your eyes widened when the void opened up!

(I'm trying to keep this spoiler free at least until Anna gets chance to watch!)

This weekend...

I have been mostly watching:

Casanova (all three episodes over three days: last year we did a marathon run of the lot in one night...)

Doctor Who: Christmas Invasion, Tooth and Claw, School Reunion, and Girl in the Fireplace, plus Fear Her (H had missed it last week) and of course Army of Ghosts*

Selected Douglas Henshall moments from: Essential Poems, If Only, This Year's Love, and Orphans

Extended edition of Gladiator plus selected scenes with commentary

Yes, yes, I know, I didn't watch the footie. Frankly I was depressed anough about the prospects for the game BEFORE it started. Sadly, it lived up (down?) to all my worst fears.

Sorry JJ.

*Holy crap, need another post for THAT one!