It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Slippery dip? What the hell is a slippery dip?

I know from bitter experience how boring it is to listen to other people blether on about how wonderful their kids are. However, Beth is so I will. Here's the proof - the cutest Kamkaze Slide Baby in the Southern Hemisphere. More here.
An unpromising weekend blossomed into rather a good one thanks to some movies and a book. The movies were:
Ikiru - Stunning, weeptastic, genuinely thought-provoking and challenging
Days Of Heaven - Visually dazzling but narratively a little dull
A History of Violence - Gripping and challenging
The book kept me up until 1am in a bid to finish it yesterday - read all about it here.
Football was rotten, but - hey! - I won't let that get me down, it was well worth staying up until 4.15am for. Hrumph.
Life is brief /
Fall in love, dear maiden /
While your lips are still red /
And before you are cold, /
For there will be no tomorrow

Monday, August 21, 2006

La vita e too short for this rubbish

An interesting compare and contrast exercise this week with watching 2 films; The Grapes of Wrath and Life is Beautiful.

- Both are about the behaviour of human beings in the most trying of circumstances
- Both place a value on family and community over governmental authority
- Both use a mixture of gentle humour and shocking moments of seriousness
- Both are in the IMDb Top 250 and did well at the Oscars

- Grapes of Wrath has great acting, tremendous cinematography, sympathetic music and a sensitive understanding of the historical context.
- Life is Beautiful has none of the above, plus horrific misjudgements of tone, a cringingly ingratiating lead, weird plot holes, a clumsily overstated score and an insultingly manipulative manner. This would be bad enough in any movie, but add a shockingly insensitive and inappropriate portrayal of the Holocaust and - bingo! - Forrest Gump is finally defeated in my Dirty Dancing Memorial Award For Worst Movie Of All Time.

I want consciousness expansion, I go to my tabernacle and I sing

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Note the handcuffs

It has come to my notice that the odd browser is arriving here who may not have met me in person. For such folk I say 2 things:
1) Welcome!

2) This picture does not show me in my regular weekend wear.
In fact I was at a fancy dress do hosted by our lovely friend Pecky, and we had to come as something beginning with P,E,C,K or Y. I was a Pervert and M was an Evil Queen with quite the least terrifying evil cackle that you will ever hear. Also pictured is Tanya the Yobbo.
Despite my previous post I ended up being able to partake of the cocktails on offer and, more importantly, I safely taped the Arsenal match and watched it the next day (great performance, average result).
Proof that the internet is a strange and wonderful place can be found here.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Way aye me goodies. Or not.

It was Michelle’s dad’s 60th birthday party on Saturday. Those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting Max can imagine that it was a lively do. My favourite moment: wandering up to the free bar, asking for a beer and being offered a choice of 6 including Becks and Moosehead. Cheers! You can tell it's been a big night when you've had a boogie to the execrable "Love Shack". Twice.

There was also a professional photographer flitting around so we’re hoping for some good snaps, which I’ll post as and when. Unfortunately Beth was pretty tired by the time he got around to taking shots of me, M and her, so we don’t know how they’re going to turn out.

Dani shares a birthday with Max, so there was a fun pub trip on Sunday too. Beth seemed particularly keen to get into the pokie machines, which is a bit of a worry.

Weekend trouble! Due to a catastrophic error of planning, I am due to be the designated driver at a fancy dress cocktail party at the precise moment Arsenal are walking out at Ashburton Grove for the first time. So instead of cheering on the guys on telly, I shall be moping in a corner with a raspberry mocktail, dressed as a pirate.

I need to sleep, why won't you let me?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Memeing of life

Wooh, I got tagged with a meme by someone I've never actually met. How very blogospherical. Here goes:

1. One book you have read more than once - Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

An obvious choice for an Arsenal boy, but it's an easy read that covers a lot more ground than the football theme suggests: masculinity, responsibility, Gus Caesar.

2. One book you would want on a desert island - Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

I suppose you would need something long, substantial and life-affirming. This is both hilarious and ingenious, plus it contains great typographical gags including some illustrative squiggles and a black page to commemorate the death of a character. I think it would keep me going in hard times.

3. One book that made you laugh - The Complete Yes, Prime Mister by Jonathan Lynn & Anthony Jay

Brilliantly adapted from the TV show, this is my ultimate comfort read.

4. One book that made you cry - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

I probably cry more at movies than at books - "You're mother can't be with you any more, Bambi" Blub! - but I was full on sobbing at the ending to this one. It's not even particularly sad, I just found it extremely affecting.

5. One book you wish you had written - Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Structurally dazzling, narratively gripping, hilarious and in the most perfect prose ever written. I was reading a lot of Nabokov when I was supposed to be doing creative writing as an undergrad. I would hack out something that I considered just about passable, then I'd read some of this and weep long and hard into my warm beer. I ended up failing.

6. One book you wish had never been written - Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

I had to read it to complete my 100 novels thing. Sheer tedium - 1600 pages of it.

7. One book you are currently reading - Mapp & Lucia by E.F.Benson

Pleasant English whimsy in the vein of Wodehouse.

8. One book you have been meaning to read - The Bible

I'm gradually working my way through it. What a very strange thing to base your life around.

9. One book that changed your life - Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

This is tough. I could give easily justified answers for albums (Screamadelica) or movies (Vertigo). I plumped for this cos I gave it to M on our first date and she was impressed, so Maupin could take some credit for the existence of my baby girl. Marvellous how the world works.

10. Now tag five people:

I don't know five people

Thursday, August 10, 2006

As dead as Southport

I think I had the most uninteresting weekend in recorded history, but things have picked up more than somewhat.

Tuesday night had The Grates supporting The Arctic Monkeys at the Enmore, and both utterly exceeded expectations. It were a top night that we shared with Legge, Ness, Nick and Lou. Good Lebanese beforehand, too.

M & I have been watching the splendid Blackpool on DVD. Does anybody watch actual scheduled telly any more? We watch a lot more on DVD than we do on the ABC and when a new series comes out my reaction is now “does the library have the box set?” rather than “when is that on, then?” I love technology.

It’s a big weekend coming up; dentistry, helping Nick & Lou move, Max’s 60th, Dani’s birthday and the finales of Blackpool (DVD) and Bleak House (on telly…doh!)

Here is a strange and bitter crop

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I must have missed that bit in Genesis

M&I watched a film last night that immediately went close to the top of my mental “best movies EVER” list – The Battle of Algiers. A doco-style recreation of the Algerian struggle for liberation from French colonial power in the 1950s, the resonance with the current situations in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq was heartbreaking and infuriating. Although the film broadly favours the FLN (terrorist?) point of view, neither side is shown as always being right or wrong. One scene in particular, in which female FLN bombers look at café patrons that are about to be murdered by their devices, is stomach-churning.

In other news, the local populace of redneck Toowoomba have overwhelmingly voted against using recycled sewage as drinking water. Bear in mind that Australia is suffering a massive and worsening water shortage, and that at present waste water is simply flowing out to sea. I listened to a vox pop on the radio and heard the following arguments:

Idiot: “I voted no, I’m not drinking sewage”
Reporter: “What would your solution be then?”
Idiot: “I don’t know, love, I’m not into politics”

Idiot 2: “Recycling is against god, against creation, you know what I mean?”

Morons! Morons! MORONS!

Oh, I just stuck a few more pictures of beth being gorgeous up at the Flickr site for your enjoyment and edification.

17 days and 12 hours to go...