'A mall?'

Life Another Christmas shopping day, this time in Manchester. Farmers, continental and craft markets are in the main squares which means real beef burgers on chiabatta bread, jars of lemon and coconut curd and extraordinary canvases. With all the odurs, colours, sounds and good will it's like going abroad but staying put. The city centre was inevitably crowded so I only stayed around long enough to visit Vinyl Exchange and buy an umbrella. Went through Picadilly Station on the way home for the first time since it's refit. It feels like an airport, large enough to house it's own HMV and more coffee shops than Seattle. On one of the upper levels a group of students were gathered in a dead space next to a wall -- as though this was their meeting place.

More fun with names

From this week's B3TA: "It's been pointing about that Otis Lifts have their HQ in Berkshire, so that when you ring them up they answer thusly: 'Hello, Otis Reading.' "

Links for 2004-12-02 [del.icio.us]

Links for 2004-12-02 [del.icio.us]

  • The 5.25-inch drive bay storage box
    The most shocking part of this is. Why has no one thought of this before. I mean the gap was there to be filled...
  • MSN Spaces = soylent green
    So Microsoft's new blogging service has already hit the expected own goal with a clause which states they can reprint and do whatever they feel like with whatever you post there. In other words, you copyright is not necessarily your own. Scary.
  • The Shifted Librarian: Our ReplayTV Home Is Somewhat Similar
    As PVRs slowly enter the British population, here is an example of what we can look forward to. Although to a degree the same kind of effect has been brought via cheap blank videos. It's the convenience of Tivo which is the issue.
  • More on Free Fiona @ Monkeyfilter
    With useful links to leaked songs from the album so that we can get a preview of what we're missing. 'Extraordinary Machine' is like the pre-history of Nellie McKay.
  • Film of the Day: Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)
    See this is what happens when I get really exciting. Just be glad there were only two of them otherwise I'd be posting them until next March.
  • Abandonia.com - Home of abandonware DOS games
    It's all my university gaming experiences on one website for download. I'm getting very old now.
  • Molly Ringwald is 36 years-old
    ... and has a new play out Off Broadway in which her co-star is Jason Biggs which is very meta. Still should have gone with Ducky.
  • Plotline to the film version of the tv show 'Bewitched'
    It's going to be like Truffaut's 'Night And Day' with a fantasy twist.
  • Penny Lane, Liverpool, 1984


    Penny Lane, Liverpool, 1984
    Originally uploaded by Roberto Grassilli.

    This was taken in the days when I thought the place really was like the song. Now that I live around the corner I can tell you ... imagination goes a loooong way ...

    "Run for your life..."

    TV The first teaser trailer for the new series of Doctor Who is online. Bit of scenery, Tardis, bit of dialogue and most surprisingly the Delia Derbyshire version of the familiar theme -- the one they used right up until Tom Baker's last season when the series went just OK. It all feels so right. Even the logo.

    Links for 2004-12-01 [del.icio.us]

    Links for 2004-12-01 [del.icio.us]

  • "Hell's Bells!"
    A brilliant rumination on the BBC's undervalued sitcom 'Ever Decreasing Circles' from Off The Telly.
  • Imbruglia 'stalker' mentally ill
    Of course that Natalie has a stalker is horrible, but two other things leap out at me from this news piece. "the singer's £2m home in Berkshire." and "Imbruglia's home on White Lilies island, near Windsor." So she named her album after where she lives.
  • Girls Just Wanna Watch Porn
    The Donnas reveal what every woman needs to know about being in a rock band.
  • Film of the Day: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
    "It's a growth industry." "Do you get dental?" "Ten Years. Ten yeeeaaars!" "And I know where you live." "Yer caan't come in."
  • The joint film career of John Cusack and Jeremy Piven
    Serendipity? Funnily enough they say they were both individually cast for 'The Runaway Jury' and didn't mention the job to each other until they saw each other on set one day.
  • The George Clooney Film Festival
  • This post was deleted for the following reason: oh man
    Metafilter fun!
  • Julie Delpy


    Julie Delpy
    Originally uploaded by weevil.

    I thought this picture was classic enough to post on the main page. I'm thinking there is a gender reversal remake of 'Green Card' right here.

    World Aids Day

    That Day Remember.

    'Say what?'

    heardsaid A few weeks ago I dropped a rather obscure posting asking if anyone would be interested in joining a secret collaborative weblog project. I didn't really expect anyone to reply, but some good people actually did and we pressed ahead with the idea. After some discussion, heardsaid was born. I'll let the first post to the new weblog explain what it's about. We're all very excited and over the past couple of weeks the weblog has been thriving. Which is why I wanted to let you all know about it. We're also still looking for contributors -- the more the merrier -- so if you'd like to take part, email me directly or via the mailbox for the site with is heard.said@gmail.com and tell us something extraordinary. I hope you enjoy it!

    Another flowerbed


    Another flowerbed
    Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

    It's another pensioner stalker photo. Unless it's someone with a flower obsession and the woman is straying in on purpose because of her vanity.

    'Too many secrets...'

    Meme Before I get to the mainstream of tonights symposium, I thought I'd take a detour for a moment into giving myself the short sharp quiz treatment. I found this at Robyn's, and you can see her sources in her answers.

    Best household chore:
    Shock horror I actually like doing the laundry. When I wasn't working a highlight of the week would be going to the laundrette. It was a dead few hours when there was little to do but listen to music and read a newspaper or book. Plus I had a crush on the woman who took in the service washes. That place closed, but now we have our own washing machine and there is something quite theraputic about the hourly trips to drip and reload.

    Fantasy career:
    Doing what I'm doing now for a living. If anyone thought that my writing was worth anything. My real fantasy is moving to Paris and working for a cinema magazine as a foreign correspondent. I don't even think that's a real job.

    Favorite place to shop:
    If it's a city, Manchester. If it's a shop, Vinyl Exchange. My whole musical taste developed from my ten year obsession with the place.

    Clipping my toe nails on a Sunday. Putting new shoes on a table. Just the wrong things to do.

    Morning routine:
    Wake up. Get up. Turn on computer. Turn on Radio Four's The Today Programme. Put kettle on. Go to toilet. Wash hands. Dial-up. Pour water on a tea bag in cup. Check email. Turn off computer. Finish making tea. Make breakfast (bagel or cornflakes). Try and blot out Thought for the Day. Eat breakfast. Wet hair. Clean teeth. Get dressed. Rush out because I'm running late. A shower might be mixed in there somewhere if I have the time.

    Evening routine:
    Leave work. Rush to bus. Home for 5:30. Dinner time usually lasts through to about 7pm. Watch a film. Go online. Go to bed.

    Favorite memento:
    My health? I have an alarm clock my parents gave me when I was 18. It's electronic but has a real bell. It's woken me up every morning since and hardly ever needs new batteries.

    Favorite place in the house:
    The balcony. I can read or watch tv and see the world passing by underneath.

    Best thing about being you:
    I'm a good listener. People always have to work really hard to find things to hate me for, unless it's not filling my potential.

    What's your reputation:
    Lack of ambition leading to chronic servitude.

    Favorite movie:
    I just finished watching Grosse Pointe Blank. That would be a good place to start any list.

    Book to recommend:
    'Join Me' by Danny Wallace

    Your welcome mat:
    Massive rug.

    Little big toy:
    32 inch widescreen tv, in my bedroom.

    Last meal:
    Chicken, bacon and pasta salad

    Technology item you can't live without:
    My portable cd player. And I hate to admit it, my pc.

    Idea of the perfect party:
    One where I don't feel like I'd have to prove something.

    Topic you wouldn't bring up at a party:
    (1) My job
    (2) My 'religion'

    Fictional character you most identify with:
    Jim Carrey in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'

    Favorite decorating technique:
    Whie paint

    Thing in your house you're fussiest about:
    Organised clutter.

    Procrastination technique:

    Guilty pleasure:
    Primula Cheese

    What's by your bedside:
    My afformentioned alarm clock

    I have a cactus on my wondow sill. Does that count.

    Recent purchase:
    Astrud Gilbertp's album 'Talkin Verve'

    Always in the fridge:

    Nagging injury:
    Crunch my knee years ago. Still squeezes now and then.

    Doctor Who stories. I don't do merchandise. Although what that's a bit of a grey area.

    Fitness routine:
    Walking the length and breadth of Liverpool in my lunch break.

    Recurring nightmare:
    I'm dashing around a city I don't know and all the cinemas are closed.

    Idea of a perfect day:
    Something new, unexpected and lovely happens.

    If you hated puberty ...

    Pigeons skip the juvenile stage in their life (unlike seagulls, for example). According to someone in The Guardian's Notes and Queries column today: "A pigeon develops an adult plumage straight away. When fully fledged, the fly straight from the nest, perhaps a little shakily at first, but they are able to fly as well as an adult pigeon within seconds of making their first attempt." You can tell which have only recently been born by small tufts of white feathers around their neck feathers. Once they've gone, the birds are interchangable by site, which is why you don't see any obviously child-like pigeons around.

    Links for 2004-11-30 [del.icio.us]

    Links for 2004-11-30 [del.icio.us]

  • Family to finish John Peel book
    Really good news. "His wife Sheila and their four children will add "biographical material and personal reminiscences" to the book, to be published in October 2005."
  • Film of the Day: In the Soup (1992)
    It's the film Steve Buscemi made just before 'Resevoir Dogs'. A screenwriter gets mixed up with a minor mob figure. Also features early Stanley Tucci as a mad Frenchman.
  • Not that photograph ... oh, go on then
    Ooh look, it's Tony Blair as a student with long hair and everything.
  • In case this hadn't occured to anyone ...
    The next Eurovision Song Contest is supposed to be happening in the Ukraine in about six months time. It's a reason.
  • Ten Reasons Why Kylie's 'I Believe In You' is better than the collected efforts of ...
    Pop Justice's take on the Band Aid 20 affair.
  • Unreal World: Why women on “reality TV" have to be hot, desperate and dumb
    “I don’t understand," she whispered to him, her insecurities amplified in subtitles. “I’m successful. I have a good personality. Or, do you want me to wear sexier clothes and lose 30 pounds, too?"
  • New York Changing
    Manhattan then and now.
  • The Flat Iron Building @ New York Changing
    Or not actually. Bit ot a scrub, but basically some things don't change. Incidentally this is almost the same angle of the photo I've got on my wall.
  • Researchers Invent Clear, Flexible Transistors
  • An Email From the Laundry Machine
    That's right its a laundrette which emails you when your washing is done so you can go and get it.
    I wondered why she hadn't had a release for while. Fiona Apple's last album was completed then shelved by the record label due to a change at the top and stupidity ...
  • Usual Suspects 2: The search for Keysor Soze
    Hot on the heals of Toy Story 3 is this abomination. No Bryan Singer, no dice. Besides I was never convinced that Soze was even a real character in the first film.
  • QT Diary
    Or something like it. After the original was deleted, someone else has nabbed it for span. I wish I'd thought of that.
  • Allo 'Allo! DVD cover
    I know what this is advertising, but isn't this cover just really nice?
  • Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad News
    A new film by ...
  • Where next?
    I know ...
  • Hard Cheese

    The modern billiard ball is made from cheese. Cottage cheese, mixed with formaldehyde becomes so hard gaming balls can be crafted from it.

    'At Christmas time, it's no need to be afraid...'

    Music Can someone explain to me what's happening about two minutes into the new version of Band Aid? Flying in the face of critics, I really like those first two minutes. I like the variety and mixing of the various vocal styles -- it captures a spirit of this time. I particularly like the rambling piano section, it's totally unexpected. Then at about minute 127 it all goes downhill. It's that rap section. I know the man won the Mercury Music prize this year, and he's perfectly talented, but his appearance here is totally inappropriate and worse sounds like that video David Owen made to bring in the youngsters to the SDP Liberal Alliance, that slightly patronising down with the kids feeling also evoked by that Nat West advert which is doing the rounds at the moment.

    Then the momentum of the track disipates and the thing actually stalls like a ancient Reliant Robin on a the hardshoulder of the M62. Apart from some listless strings there are whole seconds of dead air. Then the 'Feed The World' chant begins nothing really recovers. Twenty seconds later everyone's joining in with a vocal track which is interchangable with the original followed by some ax-noodling by that guy from The Darkness (I think) and some maddening extension of the word 'world' repeat ad nausium. And presumably completing the line with 'Let them know it's christmas time' isn't very p.c. anymore. Then it ends in what sounds like the Ewok celebration from the original version of Return of the Jedi. This new version is a full seventy-five seconds longer than the orginal. I wonder what could have been cropped. Still, it could have been worse. It could have been Band Aid II.

    The single is worth buying though for charity reasons and the Live Aid version which appears as the second 'B' side. As Bob Geldoff says: "There might be a bit of a cock-up, but if you're going to cock it up, you might as well do it with 2 billion people watching you." Then the song begins with David Bowie getting the first line wrong...

    On the wall


    On the wall
    Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

    Another stolen moment. She looks like she's putting on a brave face as someone walks off with her deckchair.

    Lost in ...

    One of the film mysteries of the year is what Bill Murray whispered to Scarlett Johansson at the end of 'Lost In Translation'. The latest rumour ('confirmed' by people who can apparently lip read) seems to be 'You've got great tits.'


    Liverpool Life So now the city centre is plus one fountain after eight months of construction and an switch on last night. From the Liverpool Echo:
    "The fountain outside Liverpool Playhouse forms the centrepiece of the square, and is made up of a double arch of water that rises out of the pavement at variable heights of up to 12ft. It will be in operation every day until around 10pm, when the water will be turned off to be replaced by a misting effect."
    What they've actually built is a kind of aquatic gauntlet as people attempt to run through the arches without getting wet or slipping over and breaking their knees on the metal plating which the water falls onto. It is spare at first glance -- a dribble in comparisson with the something you might find in Barcelona. But after while the simplicity becomes a strength as the by-stander can see the power of the water jets and there is always the temptation to walk forward and see how close your shoes can get without getting wet. It's unusual and unusual is a great thing. It'll certainly be a fabulous sight for anyone leaving the Playhouse theatre opposite. I'll try and post some photos soon ... the one on the link above is pretty but also pretty misleading.

    Life Props: Scarf

    Life Props: Scarf

    Until I started secondary school I never really wore scarfs. This was the time of the parka and to have the fur and the wool together was suffocating. The few I had were mostly decorative from a time I was almost a football fan. In particular a two-tone to commemorate one of the Everton-Liverpool FA Cup finals. Strangely despite hardly ever watching the sport it hung on my wall for years when I was a youngster.

    When I did move up to the big school I had a scarf in my the school colours, blue and black. This from my Mum the knitting guru . It was always tricky rationalising how it fitted with blazer and tie but I somehow managed. It's still hanging off my chair on my room and until the weekend I was still taking this one out when it was bitterly cold.

    My university scarf was fifteen feet long. It arrived by post in a show box when I was in halls. My Mum had been on sick leave from work and decided that she would finally knit the scarf I'd wanted since I saw Tom Baker dash around a quarry in the 1970s. It was all in black and very thick. In all the years we were together I never worked out how to wear it comfortably. It would bunch around my neck adding an extra chin and if I didn't throw it around my shoulders five times I'd end up walking on it. But I loved it to bits for what it said about me and how warm it made me feel. Then one fateful night earlier this year I went to a pub in the city centre and saw a really good band. So good in fact that I left the scarf behind when I left. I never saw it again. I was crushed and as you can see it took me months to come to terms with the fact and move on. But they were a good ten years.

    I bought this new scarf at the weekend. It's from RedGreen and as far as I can see features their slightly Christmassy corporate colours. It's just right -- thick enough to keep my neck warm and thin enough that I'm going to half throttled when I go out in the morning. Original price £29. I bought it for £7 because it was the last one in the shop which makes me style conscious and lucky. I was bit worried that it was mainly for women, but the sales assistant convinced me it was unisex. Although I love it to bits, I think the mulled wine and cake which they were giving away in the shop might have swayed my purchasing decision.

    It's bigger than 'Titanic'

    The fifth biggest film in audience terms in British Cinema history is ...

    'Spring In Park Lane'

    Released in 1948, this post-war rom com starring Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding, and directed by Herbert Wilcox, told the tale of a wealthy merchant's daughter falling in love with a servant who is in fact a down-on-his-luck nobleman. Despite having been seen by an estimated 20.5 million people at the time, the film has bizarrely been out of print on vhs for years and isn't yet available on dvd. Titanic is eighth by the way, and the rest of the list can be seen here.