Life Spent today in Manchester reading. Only would a commuting student do this. Actually only a commuting student like me do this, because really there are too many distractions at home. What I'm doing now for example. So begins reading week. I've been a bit sideways this past few days. It's the usual pre-birthday queeziness I know. But I'm thiry-one on Monday. I'll officially be thirty....something. Given the present situation and how I seem to others who just can't believe it. I'm the same age as Batman. OMG. ;)

[For some reason this post was written in the style of livejournal. Feeling: Tired.]

Massive phonebills abounded

TV Randomly because I'm listening to the excellent soundtrack album right now, did anyone else notice that NY-LON (2004) didn't get a second series? My review wasn't that harsh.

Front seat interviewer

Blog! Or should that be Vlog? With, Drivetime, Ravi Jain is shooting a weekly video blog from the front seat of his car during his commute to work. Reminds me of of Abbas Kiarostami film Ten (2002). [via]

Somebody's Miracle

Music Liz Phair is podcasting. Somebody's miracle.

I live my life like a French movie

Quote "After she was satisfied that I couldn't see a gorram thing, she twirled me around 100 or so times, at which point I had to remind her that not only had I just eaten, but I'd also had beer. She laughed evilly and kept spinning me ... Cheeky." -- Poe's experience reminds me of that line in Cameron Crowe's Singles (1992) "I live my life like a French movie, Steve."

Exterminate or treat

TV With Halloween coming here is an excellent costume idea. Build your own Dalek. Those pesky kids won't ever knock on your door again ... [via]

Final call for review 2005

Review 2005 There are still four slots left for December's guest blogging marathon. So if anyone else would like to get involved just email Full explanation here. Don't be shy.

Que Viva la Noche

Film I've been looking to see The Spanish Apartment or L'Auberge Espagnole for about two years having loved the soundtrack album but could never find the dvd. There may be a reason for that. It's called Pot Luck in the uk and it was released almost exactly the same time last year. Wierd but brilliant.


Life Reading week begins on Monday. It feels like I'm on half term from school but I know it isn't quite like that, because I have an essay to write and actual reading to do. I'm hoping it'll be quite relaxed. I've been buzzing about a lot lately, and somewhere between the travelling and student life I haven't had much of a chance just to be. It's certainly better than work of course because other than seminars and lectures I can choose how to spend my time -- when I write those essays and do those readings. It's certainly easier for me than some of the people I've met today who are also working part time to cover the fees or gain experience. I admire the fact that they can compartmentalise and prioritise like that. I've always been a bit mono in action...

This post was nearly much longer...

The Trains The derailment on the Wirral Line between Liverpool Central and Lime Street this evening. Thankfully there were no casualties or massive injuries and I hope the pensioners who suffered from shock get well.

That said.

The incident did afford the opportunity to see Jane Hill and her cohort on BBC News 24 trying to get to grips with the information as it came in from interviewees and emergency services. Somehow for the first twenty minutes they referred to the Merseyrail network as an underground, the London tube being their obvious frame of reference. Luckily an expert was on hand to set them straight -- I'm paraphrasing the interview in the style of a pub conversation after many beers.

Jane Hill: So is an underground.
Expert: No.
Jane Hill: But it goes underground, ri
Expert: Yes. But no the 'ole thing.
Jane Hill: So it is an underground.
Expert: Jus' bits of i. In the city cennre.
Jane Hill: Huh?
Expert: There are five stations in the ... in the ci'y..
Jane Hill: 'An they're unnerground.
Expert: Yeah.
Jane Hill: Right. So i is an unnerround.
Expert: No. Look...
Jane Hill: I love you...

MP Louise Ellman was also happy to give us her opinion on what she'd seen on television. Someone from the fire brigade was asked if he knew what happened during the derailment. He said: "A train was proceeding down the track and then due to a mechanical fault it left the track."

Actually it's fairly exciting hearing what are to me fairly mundane daily, everyday names like Lime Street being read out on television. It's even wierder seeing footage of the entrance to Central somewhere I've passed daily for two or three years and off and on for the rest of the time. If you'd like to know where it is, the BBC have a handy map here. They don't say what that purple spaghetti is but I'm guessing it's supposed to be the unnneround rail network.

Good luck to the men and women who'll be down in the tunnel this evening trying to get this thing sorted out.


Commerce have dropped their free delivery threshold to fifteen pounds ... just in time for christmas ...





Fashion Caro's great new t-shirt ... Also seen around the university: "I may have been born in Montreal, but I emigrated to the Global Village."

'I'm like your mistress, except you're not even married.'

film there is something comforting about bill murrays face whenever he is in shot no matter the circumstances looking into those slightly sad bored tired eyes and somehow everything will be ok there are moments in jim jarmuschs broken flowers when the camera lingers on a tableau and the only action are bills eyes as they survey the scene obviously waiting for something else to go wrong the only time that catastrophic things happen are when he is confused and does not know were to look. it is an excellent film and it is great to have jim back with the exception of coffee and cigarettes which took years to complete the director has not made a film since ghost dog in 1999 looking over his filmography he is actually made less films than i remember but perhaps thats because all of them have left such an impression and have influenced so many other film makers that he just feels more prolific flowers is actually closer in structure to his earlier films which tended to have an episodic structure often with a framing story the difference on this occasion being the appearance of the same figure in each story as murrays character don wanders through the lives of the women who may or may not have mothered a child its almost as though were being given a window into another film in which he would be a bit player a life changing cameo some of the ise stories could even have been borrowed from a library with references to everything from loftings dr dolittle to ibsens a doll's house drifting into view there is so little incident i do not want to spoil anything while i throw plaudits at the note perfect performances but really i had not imagined that sharon stone could be capable of such a raw yet rich performance and that tilda swinton could become so unrecognizable


The Weather It rained a fair bit today.


Wikipedia Wierd Guardian article this morning about the Wikipedia in which a series of experts on a bunch of subjects were asked for their opinion on the accuracy of related entries. What isn't mentioned and perhaps hasn't been pressed upon the experts is that they have it within their power to go in edit anything they don't like -- improve the accuracy of the that thing they're criticising, which is something they couldn't do with any other encyclopedia without a long winded process of letter writing or if they life letter writing.

The article has had some effect. Checking the page histories, all have some evidence of editing today, all as a direct result the article. The Steve Reich entry has had some 'some minor sentence rewriting' and the result is much better. Haute couture has gained an 'expert required tag' as has Basque people. The others have escaped, but the article is mentioned to the point that in the Enycyclopedia history someone has written: "We need to encourage informed edits, not a frenzy of response to the Guardian article."

What can be learnt from this -- that this 'pedia is totally inaccurate and worthless? Well no. As always it's only as accurate as the people who contribute and the research that they've carried out. One contributor, Derek Barker, wasn't aware of the site and says "It's reasonably comprehensive but there are such a number of obsessive Dylan fans out there to make corrections that I can't see very much wrong." It would be nice to think that the other experts so ready to expound on what's wrong will take the time go in and improve what's there. And while there at it look at something else they interested in and layer in more information for those entries too. And tell their friends. Then slowly, articles such as this will be unnecessary.

'I like the Merrion Centre as well.'

Music Still trying to complete his collection of every number one single ever, Joe visits my past or rather the Merrion Centre & Market in Leeds:
"The Merrion Market is a strange place, but if you ever find yourself in Leeds and needing, as most of us do at one time or another, to buy collectible stamps, military memorabilia and a fancy dress costume, this is the place to go. While you are there you might like to try to identify the lingering smell of the place, something I have never managed to do."
I spent my three years at university shopping in The Merrion. It was a love it or hate it place -- I loved it, but mostly because it included Morissons and that meant the best fresh cookat home pizzas I've ever tasted.

The other Lord.

Books Anne Rice has found God and only intends to write something related to her beliefs for the rest of her career. Good Lord. As Joey says, "I'll also have to keep an eye on LiveJournal for the next little while. The goth freak-outs over the development should be amusing." I should point out that I'm not offering negativity here -- any writer who has the choice should be producing work they believe in. It's just so ... different ... (Stuart sits back and remembers the old days when Anne Rice would put large ads in Variety denouncing casting choices ...)

Freak football

Sport I don't know anything about football, but this is fairly exciting.

Deeper than the ocean goes

Music First album Mike bought? 1967-70 - The Beatles (1973)
First album I bought? Silk and Steel - Five Star. Sometimes life has a pattern.

Claire and Jason

Film Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman were cracking each other up again. Funny interview on the occasion of the release of their new film Shopgirl (2005).


Music Click here to see a goth clown holding a giant hosepipe accompanying a review of Bjork's new album. Sometimes the internet is a marvellous place.

Me too.

Life Me too. It's taken a month to post this because it was the first time in an age that a piece of writing has (a) hit home and (b) made me cry. But don't let that put you off reading.


Quote "It's hard to believe it can be worse than the prequel, but then Ethan and Julie "wrote" the script for this piece of pretentious trash." -- someone called Pablo reviewing Before Sunset (2004) at Film Unlimited. You know, words fail me. Does he know how wrong he is?

No comment(ary)

Quote "I hate doing (dvd) commentaries. I've done them on my other films because in each case they came up with a reason or an interesting way to do it. Insomnia was in production. For Following, I was just talking about how to make a film. As for talking about artistic interpretation, if you will, you can't possibly do that until the film has had its wings?because the film is not complete until it's had an audience. There's nothing more mortifying than to watch these commentaries on movies they've done before the movie's come out because you don't [really] know what the movie was [and how it played before those it was created to serve]. The movie's not finished until it's in front of an audience." -- Chris Nolan, Batman Beyond (2005) director on why there isn't a commentary on the new dvd release. Shame. [via]

The ring.

The Buses It's good to know that some experiences are universal. Anna dissects sheer the horror that is public transport:
"Picture the scene. The doors have just shut - sometimes they've not even shut yet. The next stop is half a mile and 2 minutes down a busy road. Some nervous bastard rings the bell. Why?! Why?! He's more likely to forget before we get there, and besides, that just give more opportunity for point three - ringing the bell too many bloody times. Are you crazy? Are you stupid? No? Then why are you doing this then?"
Can I add (7) the duzzerds who simply won't move up the isle to let other passengers get on, as though there's some monster waiting at the back ready to gobble them up...

We don't talk about you enough.

Blog! In this post, James perfectly captures the tone and rhythms of everyday speech between between friends who've known each other for a very long time. At a restaurant:
"ME: I think I might be mildly autistic, you know.
B.M.: What was your first clue?
ME: The Dungeons and Dragons.
B.M.: Yup.
ME: Also I fear change.
B.M.: We all fear change. What are you having?
ME: Um, chicken kiev, I think.
B.M.: You had that last time.
ME: I know. I didn't like it very much.
B.M.: Have something else then.
ME: I will. I'll have something else."
Reminds me of that scene in the film Broadcast News (1987) when Aaron and Jane talk about meeting at the place near the thing where they went that time.


Blog! Dave Gorman is has taken his Googlewack Adventure on tour in America. On his blog/news page he's been recording his experiences and at times the results have been quite raw and frank as they express the technicalities of actually performing:
"Before this tour started I discovered that they had sold 8 shows a week to venues. It's nice to know that the demand was there but it's also not possible for me to perform this particular show that often. If you haven't seen it, it probably sounds like I'm moaning because, surely, it's just talking right? But it isn't really. It's a really physical show, it feels like going to the gym every night, and there are several sustained rants of blood, guts and fury that tear my throat apart each night.

I spend a lot of time between shows taking medicines to help my voice recover from the damage the last show did before then repeating, and worsening, the damage that night. For this reason I've never relished doing the show twice in one day and would want to avoid it whenever possible. Sadly my American producers had sold two-show-days several times to venues without bothering to ask me if it was okay. It must be tempting as a salesman to sell as much as you can to people... especially if you're not the person who's actually going to have to do it."
See also his much brighter travel column in The Guardian.