Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Tuesday, 29 May 2007
And then a Hero comes along...
Yes, I watched the last three episodes of Heroes over the weekend. These closed volume one and opened volume two, ready for next season. And I have to say I really loved it. They managed to end the exploding man story, while actually leaving enough questions in the air over the fate of certain characters to leave lots of little cliffhangers (rather than the one big one you'd get with most shows). I have to say that the actual resolution as to how they actually stop an exploding man was one I saw about mid season ..... but it didn't matter in the end. And the save the cheerleader, save the world thing was a bit of a red herring too .... but I shall say no more in case you haven't seen it yet.
Then of course, The Doctor. Or not as we last saw him. With his Time Lord persona hidden away in a watch, the lives of his housemaid and potential lover in the balance ..... Who at its best. And lots of location work at the Museum of Welsh Life, which apparently was packed on Sunday and Monday by people running around pointing at the various parts seen in the programme (I didn't go, Maria did ... she told me).
And finally Spiderman. I really thought that 4 weeks in, the crowds would have died down ... but no. A Sunday afternoon showing was almost sold out and full of kids. In particular, a 3 year old girl and her five year old brother who haven't been taught that you don't talk, scream, play or make siren noises during a film just because its a chatty bit to move the plot along. I hope Venom gave them nightmares. The film wasn't bad .... just not good either. The writing was a tad shoddy as they desperately tried to cram in action and plot for 5 main characters and a few minor ones too. It was almost like a lego house made by a child .... you could see exactly where one style of bricks stops and the other starts, leaving no fluidity or flow at all. And Venom? The evil, twisted symbiote I have waited years to see fully realised ...... blink and you'll miss him.
And it fucking pissed down all weekend. Which meant that the trip to the beach we planned with Toby was off... and we had our picnic sat in front of the telly instead.
Today, back to work .... of course the sun is shining.
Thursday, 24 May 2007
Pirates of the Carribbean: At Worlds End
And finally we reach the last part of the Pirates saga after a year long wait to find out exactly what happened to Captain Jack Sparrow……. Look away if you are still to see Pirates 2 as there be spoilers here …… arrrrrrrr!
At Worlds End doesn’t kick off exactly from where Dead Mans Chest left us …. The newly resurrected Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) has brought his crew to Singapore, to see if the Eastern pirates will help them get to Davy Jones Locker and rescue Captain Jack Sparrow. Of course, things don’t go accordingly to plan, as pirates are not trustworthy by their nature. Plus, the East India Trading Co are after them all and now in control of Davy Jones and his crew on the Flying Dutchman…
Nobody can argue that At Worlds End is a visually stunning piece of cinematography. From Singapore, to the end of the world, multiple Jack Sparrows crewing the Black Pearl across the desert in Davy Jones Locker and a battle across a raging maelstrom will all leave you wide eyed in awe. Also, a very minor thing as far as plot goes but something that made my jaw drop – watch the Rain on Davy Jones face, then remember that he is not actually there and is a 100% CGI creation (actor Bill Nighy is completely replaced by the effects) – truly amazing.
Plot wise – it twists and turns continually as each of the major players work through their own personal plans to get what they want. Double and triple crosses weave through the film but I do think that younger viewers will get lost in the plot and bored by the exposition dialogue (however big kids like me will love it!). All of the plots are wrapped nicely and not all how you would expect. Some bold moves here from Disney for a family film. And as for a Pirates 4? There is the potential and even a teaser of a set up, but like the great Back to the Future films ….. I’d rather they went out on a high than milk it dry.
All in all, a very worthy and fitting end to a spectacular trilogy that needs to be seen on the big screen. And even if you are bursting after the almost three hour running time, do stay until the end of the titles for a special bonus scene to make you say ‘aah’
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
And the children shall lead.
Sadly, in all my years of children's theatre, I don't have one like that but instead this one:
Picture it: Stevenage (arsehole of a town) 1994. Its four days before xmas and myself and a few mates are preforming panto at one of the local JMI's (Junior and mixed Infants .... 5 - 10 year olds basically). We have written it and the music ourselves and it follows a Grinch-esque story of how Santa's evil elder brother kidnaps him to stop Christmas happening .. but the elves, with the help of the audience manage to save the day. So i am playing said evil brother. The lead Elf, had managed to use the last bit of elf magic (thanks to the kids for shouting out the spell) to freeze me and asks the kids what they think should be done to punish me. Now, usually kids would all scream, beat him, send him to prison, make him nice or such .... but this one day, there was but a loan voice from a very small 6 year old girl. The type of angel whom from her big brown eyes peeping out from under her fringe, you would think that butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. So what two words of wisdom came from this ickle angel.
She was 6 and about three feet tall.
I was 23 and terrified of her.
Wednesday Addams was alive and well and living in Stevenage.
UPDATE: Just received this by mail, felt it apt to add here.....
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah". The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?" The little girl replied, "Then you ask him". A
Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God. The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."
The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture. "Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.' A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead"
A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face." "Yes," the class said. "Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?" A little fellow shouted "Cause your feet ain't empty."
The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching." Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples.
Labels: Tales from the past
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Light My Fire
Now to be fair, Chris and Alan are very good chaps indeed. They did say that they hadn't actually managed to fix the problem when it came back .... largely as they couldn't actually find a problem and didn't want to go replacing parts willy nilly and causing me great expense. It worked for a good 2 hours before they felt confident enough to leave .... but it does now mean that they will have to investigate much more expensive avenues. two were mentioned, please don't ask what they were, do I look like I had a clue what it all meant? More to the point, I think my attention wandered as the conversation was more than 30 seconds long on one topic .... but I do know that each option (and bear in mind, they could do one and it still not be the root of the problem meaning the other would still have to be done...) is a few hundred quid. So I am now thinking a new boiler must just be an easier option.
And of course, last week was stripping walls and painting week. I am officially utterly shit at decorating. But I did spend a lot of time up ladders ... terrified ... and survived. Sadly, there is some shit on the walls that wont come off that nothing sticks to that was a standard back in the early 1900's and its causing my rather bad paint job to crack like a whores dried knickers on a Sunday morning. We could spend money and time, sanding, plastering, painting .. or we can just buy lots of throws, drapes and pictures to go on the wall.
Last Tuesday we were filmed as a group for a BBC tv quiz show. Called What Are You Like? it will fill the 2.00pm weekday slot at some point come September. ZZZZZ list celebs will be asked to pre-empt answers to our personality based questions, given who we are (firemen, nurses, actors etc....). We had a scream filming it, largely as they had made me spokesman and I couldn't actually ever remember half the options given to us ..... I'll shout when its broadcast .....
And speaking of people being on telly ... look, its my mate Mark Leete!
And here I am, the moment I won my award ......
Plus, Saturday night was the Vox awards in Hinckley. Graham, the jammie git, got booked into a suite! So not fair ... but I did have teh adjoining room .... great night ... came off my self imposed drinking ban, got a bit drunk ... met a very nice chap called Alan and spent most of the night chatting and dancing with him .... and very cute he is too. They had an open mic thing going on as well as the best cheesey disco EVER. My god, some people should learn when to not sing in public though.....
Sunday, popped down to Luton on the way to a memorial for Adrian Cooper, who sadly passed away in December by falling in the river Thames, drunk. Sad as it was, there is no better way for him to go. Rather that than in 80 years time as a frail old man who has lost his faculties and shits the bed. We planted a tree outside our old student union in his memory. Wherever you are Ade, I bet you've got them laughing.
Friday, 11 May 2007
My New Hero
Some extracts about this chap from Wikipedia:
After several different jobs, including an appearance in an advertisement for ice-cream, he recorded his first singles in 1965
On numerous occasions fans would participate in the gigs, made-up like Zero and dressed in his typical bird-like and strass-decorated costumes.
In 1979 Zero played himself in the movie Ciao Nì (his usual greeting to his fans, which can be roughly translated as "Hi pal!"). In Italy this film was to be more successful than the blockbuster Superman.
His album Leoni si nasce and the tour of the same name, in which he appeared disguised as a lion and escorted by four aborigines, were commercial failures.
Freaky Friday Rants
Scooch are performing very late in the schedule and are between a drag act from the Ukraine and a comedy act. Add to this that the rest of Europe really hates us and we are screwed. Again. Still, I wish them well.
I see over at Pete's blog that the BBC are going to send fat kids to live with Aborigines to learn to live off the land and presumably, lose weight. Its either that or there is going to be a severe shortage of Dingo's.
Why oh why oh why are we constantly bombarded with endless hours of preaching reality television? If we aren't being told what to wear, its how to clean or how to eat. Why cant people seem to actually think for themselves any longer? Has the nation really gone to the dogs to such a point that people aren't intelligent enough to actually find this stuff out for themselves? Was that not the point of the information super highway? For knowledge and experience to be shared, to further the evolution of mankind and push our understanding and enrich the experiences of life? Or was it just created for geeks and porn?
Not that is anything wrong with geeks and porn you understand.
Why aren't the parents of these kids teaching them the values of getting away from the pc/games console/tv and actually going out and doing stuff. And I don't mean hanging around the local offie asking harassing adults to buy cider and fags for them ... biking, building dens, camping, getting lost, falling in rivers fishing for stickle backs, running for the hell of it, scrumping ..... the kind of trouble kids should be getting into to appreciate the responsibilities of being an adult. Living in fear of the consequences of being caught rather than having no care in the world because what is the worst they can do - shout at you?
We learn from mistakes .... but with no consequences from those mistakes due to child protection acts, what is learned?
I am sure if you are in an office environment and over 25, you probably get sent that mail that goes around about living as a child in the 70s and 80s ... and its so true. We did go out, we were pesky meddlesome kids ... we got grounded, cut knees, even broken bones .... but no real harm was done. Nobody got stabbed. None of us robbed anyone for crack. We would be gone for the better part of 12 or 13 hours and our parents couldn't get us on a mobile phone ... they didn't need to.
It seems that as far as we develop wonders of technology to enable us to live, the more we forget how to live, to experience wonder. We pass laws and develop gadgets to keep our children safe ... when without the laws and gadgets, we didn't need to. As a kid, you knew not to talk to strangers, largely because Charlie Said. Its not as if kids didn't go missing ... but they were few and far between and each one a horror and tragedy ... they seem all to frequent these days, it almost numbs us to the facts. And where did these monsters suddenly all come from? Can our sudden technological advancement and decline of intelligence be blamed for their sudden surge in numbers?
Respect is earned, not given. So why the hell are we giving these kids respect on a plate and then wondering why they feel the world owes them a life? Clue: the answer is in the question.
Smack your kids when they are naughty. Cane them at school when they break the rules. Didn't do me any harm .. not that I ever got the cane .. fear enough kept me in check for the most part and didn't make me a nervous wreck. Perhaps, if we brought back this kind of deterrent, put more money into protecting kids from genuine abuse, we wouldn't be spending as much on over crowded prisons, court cases, criminal damage .... you can probably finish this list for yourself.
And just where are those parents nowadays, who were scolding us for stealing apples from a neighbours tree?
Sat in front of the telly, being told to what to wear.
Thursday, 10 May 2007
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
42 - spoiler but not teaser free.
And you really don't want to miss it.
Plot wise, there is a feel of been there before with last years The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit 2 parter ... but the writing, directing and acting is beyond amazing this time around with the action set against the clock, as The Doctor & Martha fight to save themselves and the crew of a ship from plunging into a sun. But of course, being nuWho, that alone isn't enough as an alien presence is picking them off one by one.........
Ok, this exciting ... I am reviewing an episode in advance! This is fun!
The guest cast do an admirable job here, particularly Michelle Collins showing there is more to her than the Eastenders bitch typecasting she seems to have been stuck with for the last 15 or so years. There is lots here for Freema to get her teeth into too and boy does she. I have been impressed with her from the word go (not really counting last years Adeola .. even though she did a great job there too) while a lot of my friends have been down on her in favour of Billie. Freema .. if you ever read this .... Billie is great, but you, quite frankly, wipe the floor with her.
David also has his fair share of scenery chomping in this story and of course, he is nothing short of brilliant.
But ... as a fan who looks for these things I have two personal highlights .... Martha's Mother ... or should I call her Judas ... I fear she will have a price to pay and regret to deal with before 'The Last of the Time Lords' is over ... and The Doctor finally gives Martha the one thing we would all die for ..... which had me clapping and yelling for joy.
Labels: Tales from the TARDIS
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
Time Goes By, So Slowly .. or not.
So Friday. Was let off work 30 mins early ... but by the time I had organised my work, sorted out the dishwasher, turned off the fridge so I could clean it upon my return, logged off and got out, it was more like 20 mins early, but that's fully fine. Went around to Kay's and finally met Nerys' friend Natalie. She has av ery famous Aunty you know. Dame Shirley. Oh yes. Natalie is lovely and absolutely hilarious. Dame Shirley is neither of these things, so I hear from people who have worked with her. Dan joined me there, we had a quick barbecue, then went back into town to fetch young Toby, who was visiting.
We went for a lovely walk up the mountains out the back on Saturday afternoon. We were supposed to go to Swansea to see if the fucktards from the council have repaired Dan's house so we can sort it out, but a trip to the cashpoint revealed that Dan only has £19 in his account. I have about .. um ... £3 ... to last us until I get paid on 21st ... and I was almost out of fuel and food wont last that long. Bum. So I have now booked next week off work so I don't need to think about fuel for that.
Sunday was ... um .. I think we went to Asda. Or was that Saturday ... think it was Saturday now I say that and Toby very kindly picked up some bits to see us all through the weekend. So what was Sunday? Oh bollocks. I really have no idea.
Doctor Who was ok this week .... wasn't entirely convinced the CGI was much cop but we had fun spotting the locations ..... mostly the museum and the national assembly building.
Really, what the fuck did we do on Sunday?
Monday was some sitting around before dropping Toby back to get his train home. The scamp very kindly gave us some cash to get a bit of food and enough fuel to see me through this week ... so we are pretty much sorted now ... then chatting to Rach later in the day, she said she will sort out the nibbles for our Eurovision party-ette this Saturday.
I have the coolest friends. They both said that I would do the same for them if the tables were turned. Which I would, without even thinking about it. Still knocks me for six when people are so kind back to me though.
Labels: Tales from the weekend
Friday, 4 May 2007
Flying the Flag
Thursday, 3 May 2007
Who, what, when?
And how scary are these forthcoming monsters for Doctor Who?
I wont sleep for weeks!
I put the link rather than a pic to keep Pete spoiler free........
Labels: Tales from the TARDIS
Its all about ME
Age in years 35.89 (thanks, like I need reminding)
Age in months 431 (Is that all? pah!)
Age in days 13101 (And I can remember about three of them)
Age in hours 314434 (as Madonna Says.....)
Age in minutes 18866033 (Time goes by so slowly...)
Age in seconds 1131961954 (Except it doesn't, it flies by)
Age in Milli seconds 113196195387 (What?)
Age in weeks 91710
You born on Friday
The other is a character description. Do you think this sums me up? I do.
* Thinks far with vision
* Easily influenced by kindness
* Polite and soft-spoken
* Having lots of ideas
* Active mind
* Tends to delay
* Choosy and always wants the best
* Funny and humorous
* Loves to joke
* Good debating skills
* Knows how to make friends
* Able to show character
* Easily hurt
* Prone to getting colds
* Loves to dress up
* Takes time to recover when hurt
* Brand conscious
* Those who loves me are enemies (ok .. This is grammatically shocking, and I don't really know what they are getting at on this last one)
Wednesday, 2 May 2007
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
Its Only Words
And I won't waste a minute without you
My bones ache, my skin feels cold
And I'm getting so tired and so old
The anger swells in my guts
And I won't feel these slices and cuts
I want so much to open your eyes
'Cause I need you to look into mine
Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Get up, get out, get away from these liars
'Cause they don't get your soul or your fire
Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
And we'll walk from this dark room for the last time
I have some odd things fluttering around inside... memories and feelings .... I am thinking of cleansing some of it by writing some stuff of my own. You probably noticed that I randomly post song lyrics.
Its never random.
The song will always relate in some way to something I am feeling or thinking then and there as I post. Some of it will be blindingly obvious, some wont. It matters not whether the people I need to see it or should be saying it to, do or don't, just putting it out there helps a lot.
So ... when did we last speak? Friday? Ah yes ....well in my sulk, I went up to Penarth and watched the Sarah-Jane Adventures filming for a while. That was fun. They are there today and tomorrow, so might nip up again tonight.
Cant quite remember Saturday. Think we may have done some painting or something.
Sunday was a trip to Asda. And something odd happened as I pulled out of the alley next to the house. I put my foot on the clutch and felt something metal give way.... like a pin or something and suddenly, not only did my clutch go up and down, but also from side to side. It still works ok at the moment, but is just very wobbly. Of course, this is another bill to add to the broken boiler. I am clearly being punished by the universe for booking a holiday and spending all of my disposable income this month. I thought I was being nice and taking Dan away fro his birthday. Shows what I know.
Yesterday was Giff Day. It happens every year here at GMG Radio. Dave Gifford comes across from New Mexico and does intensive training with us. Now, i wont bore you with any of it ... but he does have a few phrases that he says a lot, as most public speakers will do. So, to get us through a very heavy day, Tree & I had a competition. I was counting every time he used the word dig (as in 'ya dig?' or 'do you dig it'?) and Tree was counting the phrase True or False. At lunch, I was 7 behind. By next break, I was two in the lead, at afternoon tea, Tree was 5 ahead of me due to a whole session based on using the phrase true or false as a sales technique ... but I won the day by four points clear. Get in!
We had to get a coach there and back, Tree & I played the act along a lyric game on the way there and hang man on the way home. I had a particular stroke of genius with my mime for can during a song ... you can probably figure it out. And then, on the way home, Tree had no idea what Big Time Sensuality was! I was stunned.. between demonstrating my incredibly serious dancing we used to do back in the 80's to Automatic by the Pointer Sisters. I thought little Elle pants was going to fall off her chair laughing.
The venue was Cheltenham Racecourse. Never go there for a function. The staff were rude and the food was vile. I survived on a some coleslaw and a chocolate brownie ... and diet coke with red bull. Which then kept me going all the way home, through a tougher than usual workout at the gym .... and then I collapsed. I got in the car to drive home from working out and could barely lift the key to the ignition ..... slept like a log.
I have put some lists together for some amazing tracks to listen to en route to the vox awards later this month. Oh yes, its going to be cheesetastic.