shinytoaster: (It's wheely good!)
Outside the flat on a cold November morning, looking west towards the park and Dollis Hill. The big tower in the distance is a pumping station, and it's actually rather beautiful.

I think my photos might become more and more abstract this month, since I don't exactly have the money to go gallivanting around interesting places taking photos of things. I planned to whip it out and start shooting on the train ... the camera, I mean ... but the Jubilee Line was screwed beyond all recognition when I got there, so my train was packed, and then so was the Metropolitan Line train that I had to change to, and there's something faintly embarrassing about whipping it out in a crowded carriage. Maybe tomorrow I will get some room to myself.

It already occurs to me that if I used the camera on my mobile phone nobody would pay me a second glance.


November morning
Originally uploaded by titanic_days.



Now I'm off to watch Jason Isaacs playing the British ambassador to the US in a new political drama that the critics are already comparing to The West Wing. From this I infer that it will be nothing like the West Wing, since all British critics have The West Wing on the brain, and see the entire lavish spectrum of television only in terms of The West Wing whether the show in question is Spooks, Torchwood, Inspector Morse ... Pride and Prejudice. Wasn't that episode where Mr Darcy brokered a peace deal in the Middle East just super? No wonder President Bartlett chose him as his running mate...
shinytoaster: (Rainbow)
Well, if they're going to make the Secret Policeman's Balls a more regular thing again, that can only be good. I did some stuff with Amnesty International at school and it's very worthwhile and very important and I genuinely think there are few organisations more deserving of a couple of hours of your time every so often.

Every so often, since, 1976, they organise these gigs; Wikipedia notes the first was organised by John Cleese, and they had heavy Python/Beyond the Fringe involvement from the outset. They did a bunch in the 80s but they seem to have trailed off in recent years. I was only dimly aware of the name, and missed the previous revival in 2001, which was organised by St Eddie of Izzard. Who was on tonight as well, doing much the same jokes about God as he's been doing since Definite Article. I mean, I love Eddie, seriously, but his stand-up is, to put it politely, remarkably ... thematically consistent.

Then there were highlights from Russell Brand - who is both an incredibly funny man and an incredible cunt, which means I am conflicted internally - and the Pub Landlord, and, oh, a whole bunch of people, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Stephen Mangan off Green Wing, Richard E Grant, Jo Brand, Seth Green, Chevy Chase for some reason ... and more ...

Unfortunately, the lowlight was Sarah Silvermann. I've been desperate to see some of her stand-up since I read this incredibly interesting article about her in the Observer magazine earlier in the year, all about how she was controversial and yet and at the same time very Jewish. And then I saw her on tone of those Comedy Central Roasts and she was good on that, and so I bounced about a bit in my armchair when they announced her on stage ... and it turned out her stand-up is actually shit. It's not even pseudo-offensive comedy, although it tries to be, God bless her, she's just really, really lame. She's the sort of person who would come on stage at Komedia or Jongleurs and just have people talking through her set. In fact, I think the audience were actually talking through her set. There was certainly precious little laughter. So, you know, I don't need to see her again in anything ever.

If you ever get the chance to see this one, then watch it. It was a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours nevertheless.
shinytoaster: (Whisky)
I actually cooked tonight. Four pans, every burner on the stove going ... whoseyerdaddy...

I poached a rainbow trout fillet in milk, boiled up some Charlotte potatoes and broccoli so that it was just on the edible side of crunchy, and then I did a creamy buttery sauce with chives, parsley and basil. I don't know if I curdled the cream - although I expect it would be obvious if I had done - but any tips on how to whip up a cream sauce would be appreciated for future reference. Anyway, it was the best food I've cooked by my own hand in a very long time.

Then I had a dram of my Highland Park and watched Wife Swap USA. I've remarked frequently how much better the American version is, but this one was truly fantastic. All four of them were without exception thoroughly unpleasant gobshites, and when the couples 'discussed the experience' at the end there was an actual fight, which predictably ended with the redneck punching the liberal in the gob*, and an altercation with the local sheriff's office ensued. Wife Swap may be cruel, but it's a fantastic bloodsport that doesn't harm any foxes, and ... you know ... I have limited sympathy for people who voluntarily go in for reality TV, so I found it hard to whip up much internal guilt.

Payday tomorrow.

* Which he thoroughly deserved.
shinytoaster: (Pint of Guinness)
Cracking final episode/one off special of the Royle Family on tonight. If you never saw it or never got into it, you really really missed out. They had a talking heads retrospective on after the news that basically had a bunch of celebs showing off about how much they loved the show - so they had all the ones you'd expect to do a talking head slot, like Peter Kaye, and some you wouldn't, like JK Rowling, who was evidently very happy to be filmed wittering on about how much she loved the characters ... and I thought: 'Wait a minute, Joanne. you have been watching far too much of this show, my love.'

Clearly all she was doing between 2000 and 2003 was watching the repeats on UK Gold.

New baby my arse...
shinytoaster: (Orihime Bean Cake)
Four glorious days off work. Lalala.

I just watched Doctor Gillian McQuack* with a glass of wine. There's nothing more thrilling than gorging yourself whilst she ticks off some poor sod whose only crime was to go a bit bonkers with the old chicken shawarma. I kind of hope that one day, she stops me in the street with a burger and asks me to do a vox pop about how disgusting my diet clearly is. Then I will eat my burger in her face and when I'm done, I will say: 'Piss off and die under a pile of saturated fat you misery-loving fraudulent bitch.' HER DEGREES ARE FAKE! FAKE I SAY! WHY DOES THIS COUNTRY WORSHIP HER?

Apparently, every day McDonalds serves two million meals in the UK. Now, given the population of Britain is approximately 60 million, that means that in an average month, McDonalds serves the entire population of my country. This means that some greedy fat bastard has been eating my burger.
shinytoaster: (Fucking Squirrel)
The front page of this week's Closer reads 'Why I left my toddler for a 16 year old boy.' Which I think, bluntly, tells you most of what you need to know about Britain in the middle of the Noughties.

This leads me in a vague way on to The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, which I watched last night and has subsequently been ripped to shreds by every critic in the land. I will say I actually quite enjoyed it on a funny level (funny ha-ha) but its faults were truly manifold and whilst an enjoyable hour's romp, I will add that it was also supremely patronising. It seriously asked the audience to accept that a hard-nosed Thatcher-worshipping flaming Tory harridan who was clearly modelled on Justine Greening would defect to Jane Horrocks' maverick Purple Alliance just because she loaned her a fucking tampon.

And with all due respect to feminists everywhere, how come every drama that portrays strong women in a positive light has to by default portray men as feeble-minded, penis-lead little boys? there is such a thing as balance and this show lacked it in buckets. It's disrespectful to everyone.

This could have been such a good little drama about a maverick, unsung, inexperienced female politician coming up through the ranks to form a credible new party and enjoying moderate success at an election, but instead the Tristrams in charge had to go all out and blow the budget on a landslide New Labour defeat that was accomplished in an hour's screen time, with no back-story, disjointed scenes, grossly over-accelerated passage of time and precious little plot. It would have been funny, it would have been watchable.

Never mind, I like Jane Horrocks and next week they appear to have Jan Ravens playing the Queen, so I may watch it again.

This morning, I am told that www.purplealliance.org is redirecting to UKIP...
shinytoaster: (Default)
Tinkering with LJ.

There needs to be a way to change my icon settings. I have 15 right now, but I have more inactive ones still on the site from when I had extra icon space, and I want to use some of those, but LJ is assigning me my 15 icons out of my 38 uploaded icons completely randomly, and there doesn't seem to be a way to get the inactive ones back without deleting all the icons and starting over from scratch, so round and round and round we go.

Oh wow, people. Blinking.

I got away from the cold calling centre of doom last Friday, away from Toni with the funny name who consistently mistook my polite interest for actual enthusiasm. It's strange, but when hiring a temp for a paltry wage, he actually seriously expected me to care how many people showed up for his poxy little seminar (about three, incidentally). If you're in Brighton, you may feel free to go along and point and laugh. It's at the Hilton Metropole on the front at 6:30 this evening, and Toni is the one who looks like a Tellytubby crossed with Robert Kilroy-Silk.

So, House is getting it's UK terrestrial premiere this week, so I may give it a go and find out what the fuss is all about - from the vibe I'm getting it seems to be a bit like Green Wing, season two of which I am awaiting breathlessly. The only trouble is it clashes with Kath and Kim, arguably the best Australian show since Round The Twist.

I watched about two minutes of Big Brother 6 the other night, and, wow, well. Maybe it's the fact I've read Ben Elton's 'Dead Famous' since BB5 - an excellent critique and very funny murder mystery, if you're interested - but I have never in all my days seen such a bunch of empty-headed, boring little twats. I hate, hate every single one of them, with their stupidly spelled names and their 'Oh, we should respect Mykhael's feelings' or 'No, Enema has every right to express herself, Peatar' after Enema has just said something along the lines of 'I fink there's like a terrorist chav paedophile immigrant under everybody's bed innit?' and then it's into the diary room and backstab backstab backstab. We should deny them the oxygen of publicity; I would feed all of them to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.

December 2011

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