A Few Good Men reminded me that I miss Demi Moore.
Steak Pie at the Rat & Parrot in Liverpool with its masses of mashed potato and meaty chunks
Dogma "It isn't important what you believe, just so long as you believe in something ..."
O, never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seemes my flame to qualify.
As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie.
That is my home of love; if I have ranged,
Like him that travels I return again,
Just so the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reigned
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stained
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
For nothing this wide universe I call
Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.
-- Sonnet 109, William Shakespeare

[One of the occasions I'm going to hold my hands up and say that I really don't know why it's in the collection. To be honest it looks like a question from Ted Roger's 3-2-1, although I suspect I'm missing out on the two weeks on the holiday island of Rhodes. I'm well aware of the connertations ... here are two commentaries for the sonnet which suggest that Shakespeare is talking about a man friend. I'm not so sure, but what do I know?]
News Bush threatens Iraq with land war. Twelve years ago. Why did I see the son's face all of the way through this article about his father?
Money I get this email at least twice a day. I didn't know anyone fell for it.
TV the size of a postage stamp, designed especially for a Doll's House. Imagine trying to look for that remote at the back of your sofa ... [via (ironically) Lost Remote]
Music As will become clear later, I'm in the mood for a really good courtroom drama and here it is. As The St. Petersburg Times reports that a 'Pianist Looks for Justice After Losing Finger'. The confrontation was sparked when her companion unknowningly tried to take more money than he could into Russia and she stepped in with a solution. Ideally the words of the customs officials should be read in the accent used by half the cast of 'Goldeneye':
"Streib said that Agarkov (Customs Official} then said to Trofimov (Customs Official} "You idiot you lost the money, but we still have his passport."

She said that Agarkov took her passport, saying that he needed to take it to make a photocopy and, when she tried to follow him into the office, he barred her way.

"He pushed me out and pulled the door to shut it, although I was holding the door with both of my hands," Streib said. "I lost my balance and almost fell - still holding the door - but Agarkov pulled the door shut abruptly, chopping off part of my middle finger on my right hand. ... The door was at least 30 centimeters thick and I didn't think that he would close it, knowing that my fingers were still there."

Streib says that neither Agarkov, nor Trofimov, who witnessed the situation, did anything to try to arrange medical assistance, even though she was visibly in extreme pain and her hand was covered in blood."
A few years ago, on holiday in Rhyl, my Dad shut a private hire cab door on my fingers. Luckily all I came out with was the shock, the swearing and masses of nervous pain for an evening. It hasn't effected my ability to type (sorry). This poor woman has had to miss three concerts. Just another example of how some people don't ever seem to exist as three dimension feeling beings even in the real world.
Plug! For anyone in the area, and at very short notice ... Eva Katzler is at the Bar Fly, London on Tuesday 25th February 2003 [The Enterprise, 2 Haverstock Hill, NW3 2BL] Closest tube station is Chalk Farm. Doors Open 7.30pm. Still clammering for a repeat performance in Liverpool, Eva ...
Music Scoop at The Pilgrim, last night.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about pub bands. For a few years I played roadie to one in the Liverpool area (and sometimes Manchester), exercising my right to be a fan singing along to their own material. But somewhere along the line I fell out of love. Whether it was boredom with listening to ‘Foxy Lady’ for the hundredth time or the fact the band schismed due to personality clashes (it was all very ‘Almost Famous’ – the guitarist disappeared off the America to get married). So when I found myself in The Pilgrim last night watching the two piece acoustic ‘Scoop’ I really wasn’t looking forward to it. Which is a shame, because they were really, really good.

Not actually being a musician, I don’t like to review technique, not knowing anything at all about playing a guitar. From what I know it’s about how the musician makes you feel. If the emotion is there you’re in the right place. I smiled all the way through what I saw of the set. Perhaps the most endearing aspect of Scoop is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. At one point in the centre of an Oasis track, the lead guitarist, for whatever reason, sang the guitar solo; at another time he was blowing into what looked into a breath assisted Casio organ. The other plus was that this was a set of variety and eclecticism. Although Oasis and Nirvana appeared, we found not so well known album tracks; both Joan Osbourne and Sheryl Crow put in appearances; and we were introduced to the work of Scandinavian band Babelfish (“small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe….”) They were crowd pleasing as well as personal. Kind of like the best weblogs I suppose.

I'll keep you posted on their next gig so that you can sample them for yourselves...
The Edge: Retro magazine is a stunning history of computer and video gaming taking everything which hasn't already been done like 'Chuckie Egg' and 'Head Over Heals' ...
Buffy: Older and Far Away in which the entire cast and some dull hanger's on sit around in the house for a few days; for some this is TV drama -- for me it's every weekend ...
Gordie: Maybe you could go into the college courses with me.
Chris: That'll be the day.
Gordie: Why not? You're smart enough.
Chris: They won't let me in.
Gordie: What do you mean?
Chris: It's the way people think of my family in this town. It's the way they think of me. Just one of those low-life Chambers kids.
Gordie: That's not true.
Chris: Oh, it is. No one even asked me if I took the milk money that time. I just got a three-day vacation.
Gordie: Did you take it?
Chris: Yeah, I took it. You knew I took it. Teddy knew I took it. Everyone knew I took it. Even Vern knew it, I think.
But maybe I was sorry, and I tried to give it back.
Gordie: You tried to give it back?
Chris: Maybe, just maybe and maybe I took it to old lady Simons and told her, and all the money was there. But I still got a three-day vacation because it never showed up. And maybe the next week old lady Simons had a brand new skirt on when she came to school.
Gordie: Yeah, yeah! It was brown, and had dots on it!

Chris: Yeah, so let's just say that I stole the milk money, but old lady Simons stole it back from me. Just suppose that I told this story. Me, Chris Chambers, kid brother to Eyeball Chambers. Do you think that anybody would have believed it?
Gordie: No.
Chris: And do you think that that bitch would have dared to try something like that if it would have been one of those douche bags from up on The View if they had taken the money?
Gordie: No way!
Chris: Hell no! But with me?! I'm sure she had her eye on that skirt for a long time. Anyway, she saw her chance and she took it. I was the stupid one for even trying to give it back. I just never thought—I never thought that a teacher... Oh, who gives a fuck anyway?! I just wish that I could go someplace where nobody knows me. I guess I'm just a pussy, huh?

[Such an elegent piece of writing from 'Stand by Me'. Not even Wil Wheaton's acting could screw this up.]
TV The increasingly bizarre 'Dawson's Creek' (did anyone see Sunday's 100th episode? Gah!) has confirmed that creator Kevin Williamson is returning to co-write a final episode which is set after everyone has left college. Does this mean there might be some closure to the story? As Pacey said, it's not like he hasn't seen everyone naked.
Radio As you all know I'm a huge fan of incongruity, so I can't wait to hear George Clooney work 'Desert Island Discs', especially when he's in such a political mood:
""It's a difficult time right now... because the administration did a very smart thing, first of all tying to tie September 11 to Hussein and then to stand up and say you're either with the administration or you're with the enemy, which works directly opposite of the idea of freedom of speech and freedom of dissent.

"It's the founding principle and it's not just your right but your patriotic duty to question the actions of your government."
This is feeling more and more like the sixties, the people are protesting anyway they can... Ex-e.r. cohort Julianna Margulies' has an inspirational solution to the Al-Qaeda problem: "Don’t you think it’s time we all just lived in peace? I would tell them to all take a yoga class." [that quote from Gawker]
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham speechless.
'Greatest Hits' -- Bob Seger Didn't know he had this kind of range
Les Miserables (1998) Somehow manages to have a happy ending. Obviously the Hollywood version.
Grand Designs in which a couple almost singlehandedly turned a 1930s waterworks into a dream home featuring a table made from an old Mini.
Chasing Amy Again. "That my friend was a shared moment."
Don't be afraid to be weak
Don't be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself don't hide
Just believe in destiny
Don't care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don't give up and use the chance
To return to innocence
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence.
-- Michael Creto

[I'm following the book backwards (mostly because embarassingly the first quote is a made up poem from a Star Trek tie-in novel (this thing really did capture the time). I always had a lot of time for Enigma -- looking back they sounded like a kind of Celtic Moby in their day; and that includes the track featuring a woman fake organisming over monk chanting.]
Sculpture And to give the traditionalists a warm glow, 'Memorial to a Marriage' a three ton monumental figure. Created using the newest technological advances.
"Instead of a team of carvers, we fabricated this piece using the newest digital technology, a five-axis milling machine at Johnson Atelier in Mercerville, New Jersey. They bought a brand-new machine from Milan specifically to carve this piece—it’s the second one built in the world. The machines are called CNC—Computer Numerically Controlled carving machines. The coupling of 21st-century technology with marble, one of the oldest artists’ materials, is really fascinating, especially if you think that bringing back 19th-century forms is important. First, we 3D-scanned my two-thirds scale plaster to program the milling machine to do complex carving. The whole process has been an incredible education."
Does this mean that an exact copy could be made, providing I had a big enough slab of marble?
Art As well as being written on, fivers can also make your day when you find them in the street or at the bottom of your pocket. The Art Gallery equivallent of this is finding a Botticelli in your vaults:
"the Botticelli has long been a puzzle which hung mostly unseen in the basement galleries. Over the years it had been variously attributed to Matteo di Giovanni, the workshop of Fra Filippo Lippi and Francesco Botticini, though a few scholars, notably Carlo Gamba, believed it to be an authentic Botticelli all along."
Which actually sounds a bit like trying to work out who farted in a very small room.
Art One night in 'The Krazy House' in the darkened night and distant past, Chris and I hitched on the idea of writing on all of the money we would spend. It last for one crisp five pound note which went back into circulation with a Douglas Adams quote written on it. I'm kind of sad we didn't keep it up. Especially when some else has and is blessing people.
Film Speaking of film reviews, this missive at The Collective on 'Catch Me If You Can' (which might seem a bit familiar) has prompted some comment from one of their regulars:
"Overrated. Look around. Watch TV. Read the papers. Read reviews on this site. Where is Leonardo being overrated and by who? Everywhere you look people fall over them-selves to point out how overrated this young actor is. Even in reviews where he receives praise it is almost always prefixed by criticism. A reviewer who wants to say Leo’s done a good job, feels the need to point out that they know he’s really not that good. So I ask again who is doing the overrating? How are they being heard above the roar of the crowd that calls him overrated?"
My rebultle is on there and the conversation will no doubt continue. And there was I thinking that I couldn't inspire passion in anyone anymore.
Site News I'm sure you dread these but I thought I'd let you in on some of things I'm going to experiment with here over the coming weeks and months. You see I've had three ideas for new weblogs.

The first was going to be all about Shakespeare. Then I realised that was a massive undertaking, so I narrowed things somewhat and went for the big one and decided upon Hamlet instead. Its four hours long and there is scope.

The second was simply a list of everything I'm consuming media wise. I'd love to review everything but there simply isn't the time so I thought I'd offer some honourable mentions with a few words to saw yes or no by way of recommendation.

The third was a quote blog; to explain, about ten years ago and for a few years I cobbled together a book of lyrics, poetry, quotes and writing -- things I was interested in. It was supposed to be a record of who I was at a time without having to be too personal about it. It's certainly that and I was going to post the material I would own up to as a weblog. But to cover all three I would need to be keeping four weblogs at a time; I don't have the time or stamina for that and the only thing that would suffer would be this already beleagered main site so instead I'm going to incorporate them in here.

So expect lots of stuff about a Danish prince, quotes and media recommendations mixed in with the film reviews, Buffynalia and everything else. I hope you like chaos...
Liverpool Life This was swiped from under my nose by a greedy world looking for quirky stories -- and from my own turf as well. Last September. a concert was held at Paddy's Wigwam (or to give the official title the Metropolitan Cathedral) in which the audience were exposed to inaudible sounds (of the kind which are skimmed away for MP3 files), their reactions recorded:
"CiarĂ¡n O'Keeffe, a researcher on the project who has since taken up a lecturing post at Liverpool Hope University's Psychology department, said: "When the infrasound was switched on, people experienced different emotional responses to it.

"The feelings that the listeners recorded at the time are in line with anecdotal evidence of experiences in places that have infrasound."
A kind of scientific you had to be there then. [via Vodkabird and everyone else]
Evening My wierd work rota this week has meant that I've been waking at six in the morning to start work at Eight o'clock. It isn't anything new really, I followed this pattern when I worked in Manchester for a full six months. Then I still wouldn't get home until six. Now I'm in by half-four.

For some reason I feel more refreshed at that time of day than two hours later having had as many hours extra sleep. Even now as I glance at my clock and see that realistically I've only got an hour and a half of my waking time left (which I'm devoting to you lucky people) I still don't feel that tired. So just to see, I'm going to carry on getting up early next week when I return to a 9:30 start. I'll keep you posted. Literally.
Blogging Blooggler goes mainstream. Comment column from The Guardian which covers all of the fear and ecstacy found on Metafilter, Slashdot and elsewhere over the weekend. And you thought the marches on Saturday were going to be the news of the weekend...
TV The new series of 24 began on Sunday night and the first two episodes were a treat. I won’t talk about the second for people without BBC 3, but the first offered more than one gobsmacking moment, Jack Bauer already on the edge from the off. If a line like “I’m gonna need a hacksaw…” has appeared in a movie we would be quoting it for days after the screening. Here it was lost slightly in the gratuitous information overload which spewed from the screen. It looks to be every bit as exciting and infuriating as the previous series (although luckily no one will get amnesia this time because it’s already been done). Pardon me for a moment while go slightly mad and cram in all the feelings I got after watching the first episode.

Why all the women outside CTU and the Presidential bunker blondes? What’s with all the beards? Who are all the people in said bunker and why haven’t they bothered to explain what the shady old bloke and the right hand woman actually do? What is Ensign Ro Laren doing there? And Darla from Roseanne, whose seems to playing Willow from the first season of Buffy? Where have I seen Nina’s replacement at CTU before? How worrying is it that they only know about the bomb going off on the day the bomb is going off? What’s with that wedding? Why does Kim Bauer now feel like she’d be happier in an episode of ‘Dawson’s Creek’? What happened to Stephen Hopkins on the credits? Has Kiefer Sutherland put some weight on?

The real ‘treat’ of the night was Pure24, the discussion programme which’ll be appearing after the BBC3 episode every week for the next 23 in which a bunch of people sit around in a set which stolen from Channel 4 News discussing the programme. Apart from being the pointless half hour of televisions since ‘Big Brother’s Little Brother’ it sort proved by itself why this kind of thing doesn’t happen too often. Actually it was strangely entertaining in a ‘Late Review’ kind of way. The real star of the show was Charlie “TVGoHome” Booker (who writes about 24 regularly in his ‘Screen Burn’ column for ‘The Guardian’) being an absolute star, quick off the mark and probably making his screen break; the presenter reminded me too much of Sophie “Ace!” Aldred and didn’t look like she’d watched the first series trying to be terribly excited but being no Claudia Winkleman; an invited audience of fans dwarfed my a man in a massive afro; bizarre phone call from Bob Mortimore who seemed have failed to grasp the way the programme will be shown (he seemed to think episode three will be turning up on BBC2 next week); even more weird call from a guy who decided that the now headless corpse was just tranquilised, leading to smirks from all around, WE’VE SEEN HIS HEAD!
Life Now I know how the astro-monkeys felt during the nineteen-sixties. At 8 o’clock this morning I was sitting in a cubicle with a pair of sound proof headphones strapped to my head pressing a button each time I heard an exceedingly faint sound.

I was having my ears tested as part of my newish job.

Without access to anything other than the sound of your own heart beat, breathing and the pulse ramming through your brain, you find yourself concentrating really hard, as though being unable to hear anything would mean that you’re failing some test. And the sounds I was supposed to be hearing were so faint I couldn’t tell if they were from the headphones or my imagination. I’m convinced that some of them were.

This was followed by a spell looking through a viewer which seemed to be modeled on Spock’s scanner from the Starship Enterprise. My eyesight has always been an issue for me – I’ve always dreaded the idea of getting glasses which was why this was the first test I’ve had in ten years. My heart was thumping as I squinted to see the letters through the early morning blare, guessed the number of circles; the numbers in the blobs and whether I could see the lights flashing in my peripheral vision.

My hearing is normal. My eyesight is fine. Thank God.
Blog! Caro's weblog has been really, really good of late. Go and read her words instead while I get my head around writing here again ...
TV The real first family is a Danny Baker pleasing look at how 'The Simpsons' has creeped into Amercian society. It's a decent piece of writing from the LA Times, slightly undermined by a lack of research from the writer:
"The actor who tours the country performing "Hamlet" as "MacHomer" in the voices of 50 "Simpsons" characters. ("Is this a dagger which I see before me, or a pizza? Mmmm, pizzaaa.")
Wrong tragedy, mate ...
Blogging Google buys Blogger. [via Metafilter, who else?]
Alternate I've just watched the first in the series of animated shorts which have been produced as taster for the new movies. Those can be found here and they're a treat. Although some part of me is deeply interested in the other Animatrix:
"Marney Morris has adapted her popular class at Stanford into a fun interactive one day course in various cities around the US. In a small group setting, Marney will be sharing the theory of 'engagement design'- a system, based on fundamental user behavior, that moves your user through an 'engagement process' to achieve your goals."
I bet Warner Brothers were really pleased when they found that dotcom.