Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Neil Gaiman - Top Geezer

Thanks to Tom over at Dragon's Mind for directing me to this totally heart-warming story.

The narrative is great, but looking at the pictures: awh!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Marie's News

(Further) stardom beckons!!!

Marie's book optioned by Ben Stiller....

(The news is all over the place - I first found it at Medium Rob's - but mega congrats to Marie!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Disturbing post of the day award (humourous category)

This from Billy.

I know dreams are weird, but....!

It may be sad, but it's still funny...

The Guardian may have run an article on why England gets so sad about losing at football, but Cloud points to a link that suggests not everyone thinks the same.

Very, very funny.

SwitchOn Posters

With due credit to Stu N who directed me to this poster for the recent Decemberists gig in Wolverhampton, I had a browse of the rest of the site output.

I especially loved this Glasgow 2007 Decemberists poster. Hmmm.... pretty pictures...!

Mother cannot help you now - and neither can God

Tom over at Dragon's Mind provides a really great post on how horror films often take away the security and sanctuary offered by both God and Mother.

Go Read.

Doctor Who Postscript: RIP 'John Smith's' mother - Verity Lambert

Very sad to read the news that Verity Lambert died last night, on the eve of the 44th anniversary of Doctor Who.

As the first producer of Doctor Who, she was most recently remembered in the Doctor Who script for Human Nature/Family of Blood where John Smith identified his parents as 'Verity' and 'Sidney' (Newman).

POSTSCRIPT: There is a very beautiful tribute piece to Verity over at Behind the Sofa. Begun whilst she was still alive and incomplete though it remains, it is nevertheless a very good response to the important contribution she made.

Happy 44th Birthday to Doctor Who

Noted as from the lovely Medium Rob: 44 years ago today, "The Unearthly Child" - the first episode of Doctor Who - launched all the dreams, nighmares, passion, obsession and joy of so many sci-fi fans.

Okay, so first responses were probably a TAD overshadowed by events of 22 November 1963...

PS The Time Warden also offers their thoughts on the birthday/anniversary.

1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die: "What, No Camera Obscura?"

That's a great headline, and sums up one of my first responses on starting to read the Guardian's recent list of "1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die". With Friday here, their regular day for 'Film and Music', they've printed a number of suggestions for items they missed.

Being something of a list-y geek myself (hey, you wouldn't believe the level of pleasure I got from filing into alphabetical order all the CDs last weekend...), this sort of thing always interests me - even if it also infuriates as well. Of course there are plenty out there who think that its Just Another Bloody List, and you can't help but sympathise with in such a list-overloaded age (whose sketch was it about the bloke in a hospital bed with only a week to live whose family/friends kept reeling off and trying to set him up to watch a number of films he hadn't yet seen? "You've never seen 'Taxi Driver'? you have to see THAT before you die!!"). Nevertheless, I'm a girl who likes a list, so for me it brings up my inner geek.

In response, Skuds has come up with a further 27 items (kinda one for each letter) that he felt should be on the list, and nicely links to Jonathan at Assistant Blog who runs through some of the Guardian list identifying from each alphabet letter (A-M first) one CD he already loved and recommended, one he had heard about but not actually heard, and one that was new but sounded interesting. Both approaches offer a helpful slant on appraising the list. And you probably WON'T be surprised to know that I went through each days listings with a pencil ticking off those we had, and starting to log on eMusic a list of those I could download from there.

Just a thought, mind, of at least four artistes that were missing that I would have put on there:

Einsturzende Neubauten
GodSpeed You! Black Emperor
Rufus Wainwright (God, I mean there weren't ANY Wainwrights on there! Except by default Kate McGarrigle was included)

There were plenty more and you may well get bored with some of my rants on this.

I'd also personally have taken a leaf from the Guardian's supposed criteria of "where there was a good alternative to the blindingly obvious album, we went for the alternative" - why 'Different Class' instead of say 'His 'n' Hers'? I know DC is possibly IN a different class to other works in the Pulp discography - its certainly their most consistent album - but H&H really sets the tone for DC. And in that respect - and bearing in mind the Guardian's own criteria - they could have gone for H&H instead.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Written in books

... no, not an Echo and the Bunnymen citation as such, more a riff from reading Norm's recent post on annotating books.

As the person who gave me one of my first big blogging breaks (a Normblog Profile), I obviously have a lot of time for Norm and his enviable focus and allegiance to blogging. He somehow manages a wonderful combination of the erudite with the witty and eclectic as he ranges from cultural, political and philosophical ideas / productions / theories to commentary on current events (mostly, but not exclusively political as there is a goodly dose of sport).

Anyway, I probably come down on the side of having written in books, but not having always been comfortable at having done so. I certainly no longer take a highlighter to the pages anymore (some books having suffered this way in the past - shudder), and I generally avoid pen as well. It's usually pencil if I do it at all now, but I'm increasingly aware that I'm questioning WHY I'm making a note at all: it's all those hours spent advising students that taking notes isn't the same as reading, understanding texts or actually writing the essay [Cloud: shut up. It isn't polite to point out a girl's failings...].

Having said that, there is a fascinating book called Marginalia, which is well worth reading. Think of all the commentaries we wouldn't know of without people writing in books!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Is that the sound of people sobbing?

Not sure whose shoes I would less want to be in after this evening's events: his or his. Unsurprisingly, both Wiki pages - as at 11pm on 21 November 2007 - are disabled from editing due to page vandalism.

I suspect that means that there was a fair amount of swearing and scathing 'humour' directed at their respective roles in the night's events, and those leading up to it.

S3 of New Who - a VERY long review

Not by me I hasten to add - although Rob got a full season Carusometer review I'd already made my remarks throughout the season!

Taking one of my regular jaunts to Behind the Sofa, I finally got around to reading Stuart Ian Burn's VERY long review of Season 3 of New Who.

It's VERY VERY long - you're not going to get through it all in a 30sec webpage read - but barring being wary of a ***few mini-spoiler-ish remarks*** its a very sympathetic review of the series as a whole and one where I share a lot of the author's opinions.

Clearly written in at least two long stints, its enthusiasm for the most recent series is nevertheless well conveyed. I suspect that the length was not the only factor affecting other BtS writers adding remarks to the comments: there's a fair amount of determined opinion running counter to much that littered the site in the wake of Sound of Drumms/Last of the Time Lords (aka SOD U LOTT). I found much of the wailing at BtS about the finale hysterically funny - heck, if you're in the mood, pretty much nothing beats their podcast reviews of the finale two eps - but it was nevertheless symptomatic of some of the greatest excesses of fan hatred about the new series.

SIB is much more tempered, whilst still picking out the "No!" moments.

If you can spare the time - and it may warrant setting to one side - then you may well find some interesting thoughts on the season. I certainly got a lot of pleasure reading it.

Support El Mahico

Go! As the regional wildcard for London and the South (though confusingly they've been Midlands based ...?), here's hoping El Mahico make it to the National Final.


Today's laugh out loud post

Swiss Toni provided me with the biggest laugh of the day with this post on people at the gym. It culminated in a classic bit of Swiss T writing, which I hope he won't mind me reproducing:
As if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, Darren was also in the changing rooms today. You might remember Darren as the guy who insisted on engaging me in conversation whilst he was stark bollock naked.

He topped that today.

When I first came in to get changed, he tried to make small talk with me whilst he was wearing the most ridiculously skimpy pair of running shorts I have ever seen. That was bad enough, but when I came back in from my run a bit later, he was just on his way to the shower and decided this was a great time -- naked, of course -- to exchange a few words with me. To complete the set, he then decided to wander across the room for a chat after I'd had my shower. Not only was I only wearing a towel and wanting to get dry and back to my desk, but he was also wearing nothing but a really tiny pair of pants and a winning smile. A really tiny pair of pants.


Three great looks, I think you'll agree. Sadly, every time I shut my eyes, I now find one of those three unforgettable images of Darren burned onto my retina.


I think he waxes his chest
That, I think you'll agree, really does burn into the retinas images you don't want... Read the rest of the post which is equally brilliant. In fact, just put him on your favourites. Heck, the earworms and his A-Z review of his CD shelves are worth getting your ass over there for...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Its a 'good start' when ...

... you make a flask of soup and manage to leave it at home, only realising error when you arrive at work.

And I don't get my lunchbreak till 2pm today.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Psst... anyone remember Psychos?

If you know me at all well, then you will know that the television drama Psychos was much loved and is well-remembered.

In the absence of any release on video, DVD or even any gorram repeat (yes, I have been rewatching Serenity), I was thrilled to get the nod that a kind soul on YouTube has made two very fine music vids that capture Danny Nash's Mania and Depression.

A big thanks to Dianne at the usual place because she recognised that I would be VERY chuffed to see these videos.

More Rachel

Rachel has joined that illustrious list of bloggers selected for profile over at Mars Hill.

I was especially taken, with Rachel's take on the Lyrical Terrorist even though it is a long post. She later, rather ably summed up her point as "I am not sure anti-terror legislation should be used to criminalise the morbid online posturings of silly adolescents."

Read 'em folks.

Book pR0n

Oooh, scurrying to Joe's for my weekly dose of E pics, I get a bonus of book pR0n.

That's enough to make ANYONE happy!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cross posts: Public Service Music Radio in the UK

Over at Music is Our Hot, Hot Sex you can now read all three of my posts on the public service music radio in the UK.

Radio 1
Radio 2
Radio 3


Friday, November 16, 2007

Meh. Meh. And thrice I say "Meh"

Monday - sore throat, could hardly talk. MEH.
Tuesday - better voice (just) but aching limbs, general bleugh. MEH. Went home ill by 10.30am.
Wednesday - Exhausted. Stayed home ill. MEH.
Thursday and today - back in the office. Voice back, general urgh-ness reduced. Unfortunately workload hasn't gone down in absence. Several students with significant support issues to field. MEH. MEH. MEH.

At least if I can force myself to endure Children in Need I get the pay-off of a Moffatt written double Who mini-episode...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Slight Learners

Yes, it didn't break the mold of TV comedy drama. As the always wonderful Nancy Banks-Smith put it "it was so slight that you could have - you were positively tempted to - poked a small hole in it with your little finger."

A gentle way to pass a Sunday evening, and just what I needed in a house full of newly plastered walls and general chaos.

And yes, David Tennant was very geeky and very lovely.

The 'Troubled Diva' John Barrowman interview

Come on, read it! You know you want to! (BUT BEWARE!!! ***minor Doctor Who season 4 spoiler...***)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Me: the imposter

So, SO true.

I am definitely one of the 70%.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Updated Buffy book list

My sidebar list of Buffy-related materials has been updated (and I may have forgotten something so may yet be updated again!)

Rachel is back...

... with a cracking post on the voices of the net. She's been in debate with Andrew Keen and Microsoft on Richard Bacon's FiveLive radio show.

Nice to see Rachel back on the internet as capable as ever of sparking debate and thought: she's had a rough time for too, too long.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

To try and cheer me... here's my lovely dress I bought in Lincoln

The photos don't really do justice, but that about sums up my days at the moment...

On the upside, ssh, but Blogger is now letting me save draft posts and upload pictures again....

My CD /DVD driver appears to have packed up


I now dare not use the computer to load tracks to iTunes, play music or burn anything.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Arcade Fire Review: 31 Oct 2007, Nottingham Arena

The full review of Arcade Fire at Nottingham Arena is here at the new music blog set up by lovely George.

Just to say here that we had an incredible time and that the delight of patting Win Butler on the shoulder to say thanks for such a great gig was awesome! I was very chuffed to get a nice new t-shirt as well, even if by the end it was as shoogy (I meant soggy!) as if I had got caught in a rainstorm!

And Cloud wore a great T-shirt too!

Friday, November 02, 2007

TV recommendation: Shooting the Past (Saturday 3 November 2007)

Poliakoff is an acquired taste, but Shooting the Past remains one of my favourites of his works. With the divine Lindsay Duncan (god, I love that woman so much) and the utterly wonderful Liam Cunningham... and its about photography and histories... what could be better?

Thanks Mark (TV Today) for the tip off: though I do have it on DVD...

Best titled post of the day

Eine Kleine Rob wins this for a real gem:
Then they came for Ann Coulter and I did not speak up because I was too busy organising the street party

What we did this week: A Very British Coup

Cloud says it well for part 1. A Very British Coup remains a thrilling dramatic ride.

If there is any justice, a 20th anniversary DVD edition will come out next year.

When Perkins makes his national broadcast.... oooh, it makes me have chills just thinking about what happens in the studio!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Music Blog and Arcade Fire review

Just to let you know, we had an utterly awesome time seeing Arcade Fire last night (despite the knob-end pillock who nearly drove the band to cease the gig when he threw something directly at Win Butler that hit him in the face*).

There will be a review - hopefully with some of Neil's pictures - but it may be first appearing as an exclusive on the new music blog: Music Is Our Hot Hot Sex.

Am sure you will enjoy book-marking the new site anyway, which was set up by the lovely George. So far there's a couple of gig reviews and a piece on music radio for your delectation. We're working on the sidebars etc, so stay with us!

* The NME review online is just plain inaccurate on this matter though. The review will say how so.

Work, blah, blah


Sadly, not even the uplift of Arcade Fire has managed to stop today being utterly excessively busy and exhausting.