"Yooza sayin weeza gonna die?" -- Ja Ja Binks

Film Have at you Lucas. George visited the production of Peter Jackson's King Kong and was told which CG volcano to jump off when he suggests that their practical minatures are useless.

"Stay crunchy, even in milk... " -- Joss Whedon

Film "See, the Buffyverse glows in my brain with a new, overreaching arc that will include the comics, Spike, and more. It's taking shape and soon you will know its name. And you will tremble." -- Joss Whedon writes a wonking great post to Whedonesque. All hell breaks loose as usual. Oh and I'm trembling already. Also why does the post have the tag 'tardis' for no readily apparent reason ...

Rose: Where are we Doctor?
Doctor: I don't know but that vampire looks hungry...

Just saying ...

"She left this morning. She left no forwarding card." -- Polly Paulusma

Music Anyone look for a Norah Jones subsitute could do worse than visit Polly Paulusma's 2004 album Scissors In My Pocket. As well as that using Nelly McKay trick of smuggling quite dark lyrics through with a sweet voice and strong musicology, for once this is a late night listening in the dark album which you could probably dance to. Just extraordinary.

"Sometimes I wish I was a lesbian. Did I say that out loud?" -- Chandler Bing (Friends)

TV Tonight I watched (on dvd) the pilot episode of The L Word (2003-). These means that I can finally agree with Robyn that "Good lord. Kate Moennig (Shane from The L Word) is so hot she fair takes my breath away." Jennifer Beals is nice too. And Mia Kirshner.

Bats and bangs

Liverpool Life A couple of posts from elsewhere about Sefton Park. Hilary Burrage gives her thoughts on the plans for the park. The introduction of bats? The place is scary enough at night. Also here is a nice slideshow from ground level of the fireworks I saw from my bedroom window last Saturday. I still think the view was better from up here.

Walking and listening

Life Two extraordinary things happened today. The first was that I found out what was at the other end of the road that begins at Oxford Road Station. I thought that it would take me just a couple of hours to find out. Five hours later, after fighting through wind, rain and snow, I'd passed under something like the M60 motorway and past Manchester Airport and I discovered a fork in the road. But at least I'll not be wondering. The questions been answered.

The other extraordinary thing was that I saw the first public performance of a piece of music written over fifty years ago. The Rivoli Quartet plus claranetist played the university composition of Patrick Rivers who graduated in the 1950s. He didn't end up in that career because he was called up for national service. Which is a shame because from the opening bars it was one of the most exciting pieces of music I've ever heard. That it took this long to be heard is a tragedy and I hope that someone took note and it'll be played again elsewhere. Rivers was their to introduce the piece and he was obviously overjoyed. Not a dry eye in the house.

"Waiting at the station with a workday wind a-blowing." -- Carole King

Commuter Life As my train trundled home this evening I listened to Carole King's Tapestry. It's one of my favourite records, the album I'd want to lend to anyone who wants to know were the current crop of female singer-sometimes-songwriters found their influence. As the blackness outside the window was broken now and then by a distant street light, I realised that some of the lyrics were really resonating with me in a way which hadn't occured before. It suddenly feels like the perfect commuter wind down album. There are two particular sections and both encapsulate all of the things I've been wanting to write recently about travelling again. Fans might be right ahead of me, but really, Beautiful:
"Waiting at the station with a workday wind a-blowing
I've got nothing to do but watch the passers-by
Mirrored in their faces I see frustration growing
And they don't see it showing, why do I?"
Very true. Every night I stand at Oxford Road station sharing glances with people waiting for the train and we all seem to have that look of wanting to have that forward motion, to get to the destination. That frustration is almost dealt with in an earlier song on the album, Home Again:
"Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again
It's so far and and out of sight
I really need someone to talk to, and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight
Snow is cold, rain is wet
Chills my soul right to the marrow
I won't be happy till I see you alone
Till I'm home again and feeling right."
Although King's obviously talking about a person, in the absense of someone, I'm happy to substitute that as a return to home, metaphorically and lyrically. I was telling someone tonight that I sometimes find it really difficult to leave Manchester at night simply because I'm there and I want to make to most of it. I have a sort of double life. But the minute I step onto the platform at Lime Street I still have a sense of relief, relaxing. Of being home again.

"You will be crushed..." -- Cyberman

TV New Cyberman. I suppose the BBC are releasing this now so that some tabloid can't claim an exclusive closer to the time. Not sure on this. It's a good mix of the older and newer designs seen in the comic strips and other places. The face looks a bit primate though. Another inspiration is certainly C3P0 and the Maria droid in Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927). It should look good in motion though.

"I'm just going out for a while, I may be some time." - Oates

Books Blackwells again tonight for talk by Max Jones on his new book, an edited, annotated edition of Captain Scott of the Antarctic's journals. Mr Jones was an able, excited, entertaining speaker and somehow in this short talk managed to both justify the work and make it seem like an essential purchase. Luckily the room was full this time, to a degree because he's also a lecturer at the University and many of his students turned up to show their support. I do have the guilt because for the second time in a week I didn't buy the book, but I really haven't the time for it -- I've so much else to read. At least there were enough people gathering near the pile of books at the front by the author so that I could dive for the door at the back without being noticed.

Review 2005 Update

Review 2005 Just taking a break from the blind panic of looking at a reading list to say that yesterday I sent out reminders to people who wanted them about Review 2005. It's very humbling that so many people have agreed to take part. I'm really excited to see what's going to be written. That said there are still two actual slots or days available in case anyone has a bit of time and wants to be included. Here is an explanation of what I'm talking about for anyone who has no idea what I'm talking about.

Now lets see ... 'Gerard Depardieu: the axiom of contemporary French cinema...'


Meme Failure. But then look who's second -- it's like a googlebombing battle of wills. [via]

Too brainy?

People "Too brainy? ... That's why all my hair fell out! I don't think I'm that intelligent. I think I'm semi-intelligent. TV presenting isn't the hardest job in the world and I've done all right financially out of it. There was a niche, I got in it, I made a bit of cash. I just do my job and come home and look after my baby. [...] I think I might have attention deficit disorder, is that what they call it? Bi-polar? Who knows." -- Gail Porter. Very brave soul.

Round again.

Commuter Life Met someone on the train tonight who is working at the same place I did during the great one year commute between June 2001 and June 2002. She's travelling between Liverpool and Manchester just as I did. It's odd that I'd meet her at just the time I'm doing it all over again. She promised to look in, so hello to you. It won't be forever you know.

And hello to you too -- safe trip back to Belfast...

I'm from a distant planet.

Life Another author book reading at Blackwells tonight, this time Felice Picano, a sort of sci-fi, perhaps supernatural fiction writer from Los Angeles. Although a search at Amazon throws up the odd publication he failed to mention. He seemed slightly dazed to be in Manchester. Either that are just masking the disappointment that his audience consisted of the staff who were working the night and me, the sole member of public. The stories he read from his book Tales: from a distant planet seemed intriguing especially the second which had elements of time travel and ghost stories, but in the end I didn't buy the book. I'm not sure when I would have had time to read it. Had an odd conversation with the representation from his publisher, French Connection. Without guidance I thought it was a new venture for the clothing firm, but its actually a film and media company. I asked her if they'd had any phone calls or contact from fcuk and she said they hadn't. Seems odd.

"You're probably just having a mid-life crisis. Did you buy a Porsche yet?" -- Charlotte, (Lost In Translation)

TV Tony Almeida from 24 on a Japanese gameshow, looking a bit confused. I wonder if he fell in love with a cute blonde with an inattentive husband he met at the hotel whilst he was over there.

"Bring the dog, I love animals... I'm a great cook." -- Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction)

Commerce The All Men Are Bastards Knife Block from 'I Want One Of Those'. The one to the head looks particularly painful. For the bunnyboiler in your life.

"Retail is in the details" -- Muji

Commerce I Heart Muji. I'm wearing a pair of their slippers right now. Simple but comfortable. [via]

"I generally don't like this showiness." -- grumblebee

Film Good Ask Metafilter discussion about Mise-en-scene.

"She always did like to dance." -- Dr Simon Tam

Film Breathlessly technical article regarding the production of Joss Whedon's Serenity (2005). Includes such paragraphs as:
"The big equalizer in all this, the director and his colleagues insist, was the DI process. In particular, FotoKem used a special digital process to create a widescreen image from the original, Super 35 negative. Since Super 35 results in a larger picture area, FotoKem essentially took the whole negative area and did a 2:1 stretch to it to create the 2.35:1 aspect ratio."
Does the fact I understand what all that means suggest I'm on the right university course? [via]

Blue Charlotte

Film Charlotte is the new Blue Harvest. How many of you know what at least a bit of that sentence means...

"The words that you said have come true." -- Coldcut

Life Walking through the park earlier I was struck with the inconsistency with which the leaves are changing colour. I'm not a botanist so this may be species related, but the leaves on the floor went from maroon through burgundy to bright orange and yellow. Some were staying resolutely green even in the mud and slush. This wierdness is extending to Montreal, were like the Genesis planet in Star Trek different sides of the street are experiencing different seasons.
[Lyrics to Autumn Leaves by Coldcut]

"I didn't even notice it until someone pointed it out to me." -- Claire Danes

Film More Shopgirl coverage, with a Claire Danes interview pointing to a cool in-joke: "While Mirabelle may surpass Angela Chase as Danes? most recognizable character, someone on the set of Shopgirl didn?t allow her to forget her television past so easily. Keen-eyed viewers of the film will spot a conveniently placed My So-Called Life DVD box set in the background -- a little joke that Danes insists she had nothing to do with. "I don?t know who did that," she said. "I didn?t even notice it until someone pointed it out to me."

"And I know sour, which allows me to appreciate the sweet." -- Brian Shelby

Film Thanks Keith. The first positive review I've seen of Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown (2005) offers a glimmer of hope. The critics have not been kind.

The Road To Beijing: Abi Oyepitan, Michelle Dillon & Laura Baldwin

The Road To Beijing It's been a while and unfortunately the news isn't good. Abi Oyepitan has withdrawn from the Melbourne Commonwealth Games squad because of her ongoing injury. This doesn't rule out a Beijing comeback, it does indicate the serious nature of whatever's stopping her from competing. Michelle Dillon missed out at the Noosa Triathlon on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, but her competition was pretty stiff - this was the third straight win for Emma Snowsill. And finally, Laura Baldwin has updated her online diary with a look forward to the world championships. [about]