A vague and unfocused update about being vague and unfocused

You know I seem to be having a bad few weeks – feeling all tired and run down, and distinctly stressed out and anti-social. At least part of this is due to figuring out a new work shedule that fits 70 hours into nine days, which is trickier than it sounds (particularly when you’re feeling tired and stressed out and simply don’t want to go in in the mornings). But I’m sure I’ll get it sorted out eventually.

This general malaise is why the blog hasn’t seen many updates lately – I can’t seem to find the energy to do much except sit around watching DVDs. On a whim (well, basically because Amazon recommended it – I’m letting computers choose my viewing now, great) I purchased the first season of Dead Like Me. It’s a curious beast, rather hard to get into at first. I seem to recall that Ali didn’t like it at all, and I can see why – it took me until about the fifth episode to even start liking the characters. But past that point it’s actually rather good, in a very weird and messed up way. I’ve got two episodes left which I may or may not get around to watching this afternoon. I’ll have to wait and see if I feel like buying the next season.

I’ve also been listening to a lot of podcasts. Well, three really. Hack (current affairs) and Sunday Night Safran (interminable bickering) from Triple J, and the incredibly geeky role-playing oriented Dragon’s Landing, which Ryan got me into. Ryan’s actually quite keen to set up his own podcast and keeps trying to to recruit me to the concept. I would actually be very enthusiastic about this except for the fact that we have no idea for a subject and absolutely nothing thing to say. We could easily set up a weekly podcast but it would just be us sitting around going “um… uh… well what about… err….” for forty five minutes, and I’m sure there’s more than enough podcasts like that out there already.

Oh yeah, I’ve also done something I’ve been meaning to do for ages and started on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I’ve read Dream Country, Season of Mists and A Game of You so far, and will probably power through the rest as soon as I can get my hands on them because they’re really very much like mythologically-inclined-geek crack cocaine. At the same time I’m also halfway through American Gods, which is making things slightly confusing because characters and situations from one keep leaking across to the other in my head (I keep wondering when Shadow is going to run into Morpheus).

(Oh, did I ever mention that I read Neverwhere late last year? I meant to, because it’s one of the best books I’ve ever come across πŸ™‚

In spite of all this reading and DVD watching I have managed to do a few things, which I was intending to write about, but now find myself without the energy to. I’ve also got to get the washing and ironing done so I have something to wear to work tomorrow. So I guess I’ll break off now then. I will endeavour to write about the other subjects later this week but suffice to say they involve such wonders as footwear, dragons, con-men, ewoks, mysterious disapearances and Leonardo da Vinci (figuring that out should keep you occupied for a while!).

I could be bound by a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space were it not that I dream of toasters…

Indulging in some Shakespearean/Sci-Fi celebrity spotting.

Just remembered – Over the weekend I happened to catch some of a documentary series on Shakespeare. Very interesting stuff (for a tragic history nerd such as myself) but what really grabbed my attention was a few scenes featuring a troupe of actors entertaining the tourist crowds at Stratford on Avon. They were doing a A Midsummer Night’s Dream, playing it totally for laughs (which of course is how it would have been played originally) but – here’s the thing – I swear to God one of the actors was Gaius Baltar!*Or more properly James Callis. I suppose it makes sense – he’s British after all and presumably had to start acting somewhere, but it was still quite unexpected, and had me peering at the screen going “It’s not! Is it? It can’t be! It is! No it’s not! It has to be!” and so on for a good five minutes at least.

Oh, and in news from the Missing Racists department the police now believe Jack van Tongaran is on the run, rather than dead. Apparently he decided to make a break for it (allegedly) because he figured having to report in to the local police station every few days was part of a police plot to murder him (allegedly). There’s a nationwide alert out, so hopefully he and his also missing associate will be caught sooner rather than later. Last thing we need is white supremacists with paranoid delusions (allegedly) running around the place.

Yes, well…

The frequency of my blog entries getting back to normal eh? So much for that idea πŸ™‚

There’s been a lot of stuff to get done at work before I finish up, and there’s still a lot of stuff to be organised for the trip, and as a result I’ve been busy as all get out. And as a result of that I’ve been too tired to do much in the evenings except throw something in the microwave and collapse in front of the TV (and an unremitting diet of microwave dinners is probably not helping anyway). So keeping up with blog entries has sort of fallen by the wayside. But they should pick up sooner or later – maybe πŸ™‚

A few quick notes on things though.

Justin and Marika

I caught up with Justin and Marika last week. We went out to dinner at Kailis Brothers in Leederville (where I had a very nice salt and pepper squid) and then walked up to the Luna to see some film I’d never heard of but which Justin and Marika said was a documentary about a family who’s house was stormed by the police and FBI in the middle of their thanksgiving dinner – sort of a social justice/abuse of power by the authorities type thing. In actual fact it turned out that the police and FBI stormed the place because the father of said family was a paedophile trading in child porn, which was frankly not what I’d been lead to expect. But it was interesting anyway, in a somewhat unsettling way. I’ll probably have more to say on it later.

Oh and it turned out that the reason Justin and Marika didn’t turn up to my birthday dinner back in February/March was because they’d just found out Marika was pregnant – and were in severe shock at the time. They’re extremely happy about it now, so congratulations guys!

The Charmed Season Finale

Gideon is dead. Good. You do have to wonder where Leo picked up the ability to shoot lightning bolts from his hands Emperor Palpetine style though. And since when was Chris telekinetic? They did a very good job in the adds of suggesting that Piper was going to die (not that I figured she’d stay dead of course, name one Halliwell sister who hasn’t been dead at some point or other) but in the end it turned out that they killed off Chris, which is fair enough because the entire temporal paradox of his very existance was rapidly becoming an embarrasment. Ummm what else? Oh yes, Barbus. It’s good to see him back. Every TV show needs a demon of fear who looks like a cross between David Bowie and Tom Waites and speaks with a Tennassee accent (Tennasse? I dunno, somewhere like that). And his turn as the Demon of Hope in the mirror universe was hilarious. Actually speaking of the mirror universe it was nice to see that they kept to the convention of the guys all having pointy little beards and the girls done up as goths – just so we could tell who was who πŸ™‚

(Oh yeah, normally I’d regard Rose McGowan done up as a goth as a dream come true, but they went way overboard with the hair – it looked like she was wearing three wigs on top of each other – so no dice πŸ™‚

Ummm, sure there was some other stuff I was going to write about, but I’d better get on with some real work (I’m in the office early again today) . So, farewell until I get myself together enough to write again, which could be sometime in November at this rate πŸ™‚

The Pornographers were ripped off!!!

I had a rather weird dream last night. It was an episode of a new sitcom about a bunch of people taking a university course together (actually I think it might have been the second or third season premiere, since there were some implications of some cast members having left and other new ones joining). It was kind of like that old Head of the Class show, you know the one that featured Billy Connolly for a while? Anyway the weird thing was it had an ensemble cast of characters from other sit-coms. The class was made up of Dr Frasier Crane from Frasier, Phoebe from Friends, Linda from Becker and… well Andy Dick (no matter what he’s in Andy Dick only ever plays one type of character and they’re all completely interchangeable, so we’ll just say Andy Dick). Lisa and Beth from Newsradio and Finch from Just Shoot Me might have been hanging around at the back, I can’t quite remember. In any case the teacher was the guy from According To Jim.

Not a lot happened really. Frasier acted like a pompous ass, Linda and Phoebe got into a prolonged and bewildering conversation about some inane subject, and Andy Dick made some stupid Andy-Dickesque comments about the teacher’s new PDA. Oh, and the teacher accidentally spilled the contents of his bag on the floor, and Frasier leapt from his seat and started picking them up in a blatant attempt at currying favour. But that’s about it. WIERD no? πŸ™‚

I suppose all the Newsradio stuff had to do with a documentary on the archeology of Alexandria I watched before going to bed (one of the Archeologists looked surprisingly like Maura Tierney), and this week’s TV guide has a photo from the last episode of Friends which would account for Phoebe, but the rest is completely beyond me.

Anyway I had a pretty busy week socially (for me that is). On Tuesday night I went to the Sunset Cinemas at King’s Park with Ryan, Justin and Marika. They were playing that French bird film that everyone’s been raving about for the last years or so, so after work I caught the train down to Victoria Park and walked to Justin and Marika’s new place. As usual with Justin we were a bit delayed getting going (we had to make pizzas so as to have something to eat which took a while to cook) but we only missed the first ten minutes or so, so that was OK.

The Sunset Cinemas are held in the open air, you sit on the grass and watch the movie on a big screen held up by scaffolding. It was really good actually, the weather was perfect (although it got a little bit chilly by the end) and the film was amazing. Three bits in particular stuck in my mind, a gaggle of geese wandering around the Arizona desert (on their migration from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, they didn’t just truck geese out to the desert for the shoot – or at least I hope they didn’t), some grebes running across a lake in Oregon (they looked like penguins speeded up five times, it was hilarious!) and a baby snowy owl waddling across the tundra looking like a disgruntled overweight hobbit with a backpack. The pizzas were great, Ryan bought a gigantic heaped platter of grapes (some of which we fed to the ducks while packing up, they couldn’t get enough of them!) and all in all it was a really fun night. I even got a pot plant as a belated Christmas present. It’s a succulent, which is great because it only needs to be watered about once a year which is about as often as I’d remember to πŸ™‚

On Saturday night I headed down to the Red Orchid with Rebecca and Dom, just to catch up. We ended up sitting outside in the little courtyard at the back, which was great because it wasn’t as crowded as out the front, but didn’t have the appalling acoustics of indoors (in order to look cool and trendy the interior has a whole lot of bare concrete and girders, it echoes like crazy). As usual the food was excellent, although the service was a bit sloppy. We were asked for our orders twice, had to ask for a carafe of water twice, and the lemon lime and bitters I ordered with my meal failed to appear until I asked for it again. Oh, and we were offered desert and coffee menus three times, but by that point they may have been trying to get rid of us πŸ™‚

The weird thing is that people kept coming out to sit at the table adjacent to us, then changing their minds and moving indoors. We figured we were doing something to drive them away, although we couldn’t quite figure out what.

So yeah, that was my week socially.

Today of course is the Australia Day/Invasion Day public holiday, depending on how you look at it. There’ll be the big firework display over the river tonight, but I’m not going. To get a decent seat you have to go in at about nine in the morning, and then spend the entire day sitting out in the sun surrounded by even increasing numbers of other bored people, all for fifteen minutes of fireworks choreographed to mindless top 40 tunes which you just know will feature Guy Sebastian. Then you’ve got the hassle of getting home through the thousands of other people all trying to get home. I can do without it frankly.

There was some kind of fireworks display last night as well, to judge by the noise. Either that or an artillery attack of some kind. It was probably over at Gloucester park or something, although I did entertain myself with the thought that the barges for tonight’s show might have caught on fire and the display was going off 24 hours early with no-one to watch it. Haven’t heard anything on the news though, sad to say πŸ™‚

This being Australia Day means that yesterday was of course the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown. All in all it wasn’t too bad, although once again Powderfinger got way more placings than they actually deserve. The New Pornographers didn’t get in at all which annoyed the heck out of me, we could have taken out a few Powderfinger tracks to make room – no one would have missed them!

I would list the top ten here, but Triple J haven’t seen fit to put the results on the website yet. I can say that number one was Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet, and two was Hey Yah by Outkast. The Royskopp (which is not how you spell it I’m sure) remix of Coldplay’s Clocks was at about five, and… um I can’t quite remember the rest. A full update when Triple J does one I promise πŸ™‚

As for the songs I voted for, a big chunk of them failed to get in alltogether. That’s what happens when you limit people to ten songs I guess, stupid policy that it is. Let’s see…

Biftek – Read To Me – Didn’t make it in!
Downsyde – El Questro – Didn’t make it in!
Eels – Dirty Girl – Didn’t make it in!
Electric Six – Gay Bar – Got in at about 26, which is good
Nofx – Franco Un-American – Made it in
Screamfeeder – Ice Patrol – Didn’t make it in
The Herd – 77% – Made it in
The New Pornographers – All For Swinging You Around – Didn’t make it in!
The New Pornographers – The Laws Have Changed – Didn’t make it in either!
The Waifs – Lighthouse – Got in at about 12, yey!!

Of the other four I would really have liked to vote for, they all made it in except for Spencer Tracy. They played the ‘Armageddon’ version of ‘Bomb the World’ I’m happy to report by the way, which is the far superior version of the song. A lot angrier than the normal one. Oh, and two songs I maybe would have voted for if I’d remembered them are Growing on Me by the Darkness, and Man of Constant Sorrows by the Soggy Bottom Boys. Now they rock!

Well that’s that for another year then *g*

Finally I should mention that Wyrmworld has undergone a major revision and re-arrangement. I’m aiming to reformat the entire site over the next few months, lord knows it needs it. Next on the horizon are the Tales of the Geek Underclass, I’ve got a design worked out, it’s just a case of finalising it and converting all the files. *sigh* so much work, so little time.

OK, I’m shutting up now πŸ™‚

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