Tuesday, April 25, 2006

<happy sigh> I watched Velvet Goldmine today, first time in months. I forget how much I love that movie. The interactions and tangled histories of the main characters still fascinate me.

Thank you, Sue! If I hadn't read your blog I wouldn't have picked up 'Forests of the Heart' by Charles de Lint. Wow, fabulous book, fabulous author. The story started slowly because there was so many characters to introduce, but once the pace picked up and the individual threads began to flow and twine I couldn't put it down. Fortunately the library has a lot of his work for me to ferret out and pounce on. Forget the Anita Blake series, this stuff is far more engaging!

I let the cubs watch the 'South Park Movie'. I admit I was a little concerned cos the language is... extreme's too extreme a description, but it is pretty full-on. I warned the cubs beforehand but they still wanted to see it, so...
<g> They enjoyed it, so much so they've watched it 3 times now. Fortunately perhaps a lot of the humour and concepts are zipping way above their heads (I'm waiting for them to ask me what a clitoris is) but they're having a good time cracking up at the slapstick. I've forbidden them to sing the <ahem> Terrance & Phillip song at school cos that will completely ruin my reputation as a responsible parent. : )

"Every Breath You Take" really is a malevolent song.
I miss The Police sometimes. They produced some incredible music and were an excellent live band.

'kay, I'm definitely past the half-way mark in the rewrite now but damn it's been a battle at times. Not that there's terribly much to tweak but when I'm in the midst of a <hand to forehead> this is clunky and puerile and no one will ever want to read it!! crisis of confidence I sometimes find myself wondering if it wouldn't be easier to start again with something new. I'm not going to, of course, because I'm lazy but stubborn, and I'm not going to waste over a year's worth of effort (plus the time Joules has put in beta'ing for me). I just have to remind myself sometimes that I can and will see this through to the end. After all, I finished the initial draft of the story, what's harder than that? <g>

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The cubs really enjoy The Order of the Stick but they miss a lot of the D&D based jokes. They've responded enthusiastically to their dad's suggestion that he run a campaign for them and I said I'd join in. It could be fun - the cubs' father is an excellent game-master - but I have to admit that role-playing just doesn't hold the appeal it once did. Eh well, should be interesting to see how the cubs cope with the somewhat restrictive rules: "No. You can't have that mega-twega death-dealing spell until you're nth level..." <g>

I saw in a documentary sometime ago that wolves (and dogs/foxes as well, I assume) can in some instances help their sense of smell by snorting out puffs of air through their noses. This apparently boosts the scent particles into the air so they can be snuffled up easier. Guess what - it works! I've been trying it with very faint smells and it does give a stronger trace. I've had some odd looks though; it's not everyday you see someone with something pressed right up against their nose, snuffling and snorting with a look of intense concentration... <smirk>

Speaking of dogs... I borrowed an Akira Kurosawa DVD from the library: "Nora inu (Stray Dog)" [1949]. I knew Samurai flicks weren't really my thing but I was curious to see how the Japanese handled a Film-noir, one of my favourite genres.
Bloody marvelous! <bounce> This may be one I end up buying. The story starts simply but gains layers of complexity as it progresses. Seeing the depiction of a post-war, post-occupation Japan was intriguing, especially the sometimes uncomfortable blending of East/West culture. Stylistically the film is wonderful with some breathtakingly elegant cinematography and staging that spoke volumes about Japanese artistic sensibility.
...Yes, the more I think about it the more decided I am to have my own copy. This definitely bears repeated watching.

And still on the subject of Japanese cinema - I picked up a copy of Dianna Wynne Jones' "Howl's Moving Castle" cos I thought it might give me some insight into some fuzzy bits of the movie. All I can say though is that the movie - gorgeous as it is - bears little resemblance to the book. They're both great, but ultimately not comparable. I haven't quite finished the book but I have to say that I got a little excited about it. Part-way through it took a left-turn which transformed it from an enjoyable but not particularly gripping story into something truly magical. There's quite a list of the author's other works - I'm going to see what else of hers my library has...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Curriculum day, today - tacked on to the Easter long-weekend; woohoo! - so the cubs and I went to see Ice Age 2. Fun movie, pure fluff, but entertaining. Scrat, as usual, was a highlight.
So, yes, the movie was okay, butbutbut... <squee!boing> posters advertising PotC 2: Dead Man's Chest. Biiiig posters... MmmmOrli-squee... Something to look forward to an' all. <g>

And speaking of Johnny Depp (there is a link) I finally got to see From Hell. It's another Jack the Ripper movie, not something I generally go out of my way to see, but I thought this version was t'riffic - and sad. True, historically, it's bollocks but Depp produced an interesting take on Insp. Abberline and the plot made more sense than some 'recreations' I've seen.

Moving right along to more historical bollocks...
No, that's a bit harsh, though "Nights at the circus" was certainly a confounding read. It became more fun, however, once I stopped waiting for it to make sense and just went along for the ride. Not sure what else to say about it, really, except that for the life of me I can't imagine how it was made into a stageplay!

Cubs and I spent a few days at Mum's for Easter. We ambled off to Alexandra for a day at the steam tram railway. It's been over a year since we were there and it was good to note the improvements to the site/displays. Soulsis and her chicks popped 'round on Monday morning for a few hours. Soulsis - bless her - had made a huge tin full of biscuits; they didn't last long. <g>
It was a nice, relaxed weekend and astonishingly I came home without any material. A couple of books, true, but no material. Egad, what's the world coming to...? <sigh>

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I've been watching a series on ABC, Little by Little, a documentary about the development of the Dusty Springfield musical. Hee, well, last night I dreamt I was part of the cast, in a 'small but pivotal role' except I hadn't had any rehearsals, I didn't know where my costume was or what my cues were. Funnily enough I was more annoyed than anxious cos I knew I'd be able to wing it with minimal direction but still a little bit more organisation on the part of management would have avoided all the aggravation. <g>
Today I picked up a copy of DS's greatest hits cos I thought if I was going to be in the stageshow I'd better know the songs...

<giggling> It's fun listening to the cubs playing combat games on the Xbox - they swear like (19th century) troopers. "Take that, you bugger!" "Aaargh, no! Oh my gosh!" Is it any wonder they're uncomfortable with actual swearing?

And I've picked my challenge for the 6th wave of the Snape/Lupin Fuh-Q-Fest. : ) It's not due 'til the end of July - if I'm quick enough I might be able to slide a second fic in as well...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Eurgh. Don't like cheap Easter chocolate - it's gritty. <shudder> But some of the wrappers are so pretty. It's not a complete waste, though, I get the wrappers while the cubs will happily eat the crap.
(Awww. The S cub's just produced some 'wrapper art' of his own. He's fashioned a small human suffering from yellow fever [gold wrapper] covered by a blanket [red wrapper]... I knew the Horrible History/Science series would be beneficial. : )

<g> Following Joules enthusing about the Nights at the Circus stage play (March 31 on her blog) I hunted down a copy of Angela Carter's novel at my library. Interesting, very interesting, even though I'm having to read it in increments - the Victorian setting is... off-putting. Pfft, 'off-putting', hell, it makes me hiss! But anyway, I'm intrigued to see where it goes. Is Fevvers a hoax or not?

One book I've had no trouble reading though, is Circus of the Damned, the third in the Anita Blake: vampire arse-kicker series. I'm not sure why I'm reading these, to be honest. Crime fiction is my equivalent of brain-candy Romantic drivel but I don't like horror at all and this series is kind of a fusion of the three genres. One out of three shouldn't be enough to keep me reading, but I'm intending to finish the series even though the conclusion of Circus felt like a cop-out. Eh, perhaps I'm a literary masochist, or just stubborn. Actually, no, it's probly laziness. The books are easy to read, they don't tax my brain and they keep me distracted while waiting for/traveling on buses. I'll read the fourth anyway and then see how I feel.

Sometimes I like discomfiting my children, if not shocking them outright.
I treated myself to a copy of Spiderbait's video clip compilation DVD; and one of my favourite tracks is a subtle little number called Fucken Awesome. <smirk> One cub has to leave the room when it's playing, he just can't cope with the language... but I really like this track, it's fast and boppy and unlike the majority of other songs that are riddled with profanity, it's happy, not angry. No matter, there's other tracks the cubs do enjoy and will watch over and over again. I'm slowing making inroads into expanding their musical tolerance...

This would have to be my favouritist line in a fan fic ever:
"Severus had taken to a magic-less life like a trout to international finance..."
<rolling around laughing> It's a quote from an excellent and very funny snarry, 'Fourth Year' by Calligraphy. There's an awful lot of good HP fanfic out there, more than I ever would have suspected. I've been having such fun! <g>

Almost half-way through the rewrite now, as well, all thanks to Joules for the betas. : )

Monday, April 03, 2006

Monster trucks. I just don't get it. <scratching head> Is it... is it like grotesquely huge breast implants? Repulsive yet you can't take your eyes off them cos they're so weird?

I'm reading through Jane Austen's Guide to Dating (Lauren Henderson; 2005). The author has compiled a list of 10 dating 'principles' that constantly pop up in Austen's stories. The author says that after consulting (having foisted on her) dating 'manuals' and advice that not only needlessly complicated the process of finding a mate but turned everything into adversarial powerplay, she found herself turning back to Austen's simple, common-sense notions of over a century ago - back to a time when divorce wasn't an option so one had to be more selective in one's choices. : )
It's amusing, though some of the sweeping generalisations make my lip curl, and Henderson very deftly uses examples from the novels to illustrate the principles as well as modern-day anecdotes from her friends and family to demonstrate how it all works in real-life.
Amusing an' all as it is I can't see myself using the advice with any regularity though. I'm not likely to 'date' anymore, but you never know, I might meet someone nice in the retirement village to hold hands with after a suitable amount of time strolling about the elegantly manicured gardens. One wouldn't want to appear too forward, would one? <g>
(And on a side note: I keep meaning to read something of Austen's. I've seen a few of the dramatisations and loved those but the prose is harder to decipher than Dickens. Admittedly, the only attempt I made on one of the novels was when I was pregnant and therefore only had half a brain, but still, it'd be easier now, surely?)

Joules has finished Band 3, another of her Alternate Oedo stories, and it's fabulous! Had me cackling aloud in places, and I definitely want "I'd rather be eaten alive by weasels..." (© to Joules, of course) on a t-shirt! Says it all, really. <snerk>