Friday, January 07, 2005

Books wot I have read

Over the xmas break I managed to read a very lot.
Margaret Atwood, Lady Oracle
About a woman whose self-esteme is inversely correlated to her weight having suffered from childhood obesity, bullying and a cold-hearted mother. Excellent.
Barbara Poisonwood, The Bean Trees
A young girl is handed a small child whilst on a roadtrip and tries to raise her in a nearby town after the car breaks down. Pre-quil to Pigs in Heaven. Short and sweet.
Douglas Kennedy, The Big Picture
A middle-aged legal expert bumps off a rival and does a bunk. Told from the perspective of the killer. Clever and enjoyable.
Orhan Pamuk, The Black Book
A man seeks his wife in Istanbul suspecting she may be with his brother who is a newspaper columnist. The story has alternate chapters of wandering and the column - this contains clues as to the whereabouts of the two. Richly evocative of Turkish ways and means of expression. Too clever by half - better if you have little else to do; not a mainstream read.
Coming soon: review of Lemony Snicket books 4-6!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Lemony Snicket: my new best friend

Lemony Snicket: A series of unfortunate events is a film currently in the cinema. We went to see it last night despite having intended to see the Aviator. It was fantastice, a bit like Harry Potter but good. It turns out there are 12 Lemony Snicket books and that the film is just the first three. Definately the film of the year for me... I have books 4-6 on order.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

New Year, New You

Apparently every book and website can fix what's wrong with me. Its as easy as entering credit card details. Fabulous. That leaves me free to get on with the tedium of finding a new job.
In the last couple of weeks: 1. new job in Nottingham has died a death 2. have given up all vices except smug 3. decided to resume super-nice persona due to latent insecurity.
There is a new girl at work. She seems ok but I can't bring myself to speak to her since I have nothing positive to say about the office environment, the ivory tower generally and especially not-really-a-professor Evil. Smarmy lizard features joined us for lunch for the first time ever; maybe he is trying to be less of a swine to the fresh-meat. We shall see.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Hawking sums up War on Terror

Hawking quoted in the Guardian: "The war was based on two lies," he said through his voice synthesiser. Both the claims of weapons of mass destruction and linkage to September 11 had proved untrue. "It has been a tragedy for all the families. If that is not a war crime, what is?" He added: "I apologise for my pronunciation. My speech synthesiser was not designed for Iraqi names."

Too early for festivities

Went to see Bad Santa with Kelly and Richard last night against my better judgement (see Plan above). This review shows that voters loyalties are being stretched to the limit since The Telegraph liked it less than average and The Guardian loved it. I think there is a deep message there. Anyway, it was better than I thought although I could not forgive Billy Bob for being so mean to Angelina. He does have nice teeth though.
Since no-one's actually reading this it won't matter that I instert some new latin (ok so there is no such thing, its a dead language - don't expect there are latin words for computer or MP3, either - ok so its new to me): 'Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?' Which means, 'How much wood can a wood chuck chuck if a would chuck could chuck wood?'

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Doldrums

Watched Secretary last night. I found it poorly characterised and highly sanitised. But I liked it more than Boy who has a healthy disrespect for Spader and flicked through his magazine throughout.
The Boy's mum and dad are coming over for lunch on Saturday so I guess the rest of the week will be spent trying to hide all the crap and cleaning up. I am sure it will be nice to see them. Plan: go shopping and clean up flat.
May have to make up something interesting tomorrow because life has been pretty dull of late.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Go large

The new Coventry Tesco's Extra is now open and we went on a school trip to check it out this lunchtime. Its next door to the Coventry City Football ground that is in the process of being constructed. I didn't know there was a football team so I am recording this fact so that you, gentle reader, are not embarassed by your ignorance of this fact too. Anyway its a very large shop with a horizon. Got a few seasonal gifts and had more fun than if I had stayed at my desk. Prof. Evil is on holiday this week so the atmosphere is much less opressive. 33.5 hours to the weekend.

No fireworks please, we're British

We didn't make it to any fireworks this year - my friend Jean was to visit but was unable to come due to having overdone it at work and consequently being knackered and laid up in bed.
My mum was in town for a retreat with her church so I met her for a drink on Friday night. She brought 9 of her Christian friends and I could not drink because I had driven there... And again for coffee (this time with Boy in tow) on Saturday but other than that I have been mainly watching the boy play Grand Theft Auto which probably makes me his Moll, or whatever they have in the Badlands of San Andreas. I've also read most of 'The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime'. It lives up to its reputation and the isolation of the protagonist is fairly uncomfortable. I am not sure I like being parachuted into an autistic mind. That said, I had thought that some people I have known some people who I think may be mildly autistic. Evidence: lack of empathy for others (literal inability to 'put themselves in someone else's place'), inappropriate use of idioms, fatalistic neurosis. (Hmmm, maybe they are just miserable bastards but I like this interpretation better.)
Choices video has a good deal on where you can get 4 dvds for a week for £5.50. We got The Hours (interesting, touching), The Shipping News (Even duller than the book: Dench, what were you thinking? Give up the Oirish accent as well love.), Stir of Echos (Chilling, well-acted) and Secretary (not yet seen).

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The problem with Democracy

At times like this I remember why universal suffrage took so long. The man-on-the-street is an idiot. Why oh why did we let the American non-passport holding majority set the agenda for the next 4 years? NTK linked to this article that was originally in the Guardian, until they censored it. Rescued for your viewing pleasure by a blogger with foresight :) I think the suggestion that we bump off Bush II is probably misguided but understandable. Global apolcalypse, here we come.