This week, Monday 20th May 2013

Spain? That’s A Different Country.

Chavs

Last week was pretty hectic (for me) – Monday evening teaching improv, Tuesday evening doing improv, I don’t remember Wednesday, Thursday evening doing improv and Friday evening I was in a TV coma. Saturday I got up early to go and compere Derby’s Knickerbocker Glorious event. Then returned to a TV coma. Phew. This week will be slightly less busy, which means might even get some stuff done.

The long awaited training phase has kicked in at work, although I’m delivering the least because of my other mind-numbing, stress-inducing tasks. It’s a relief to finally be approaching the end (of the beginning). At the very least, training is time out of the office and away from people driving you insane because of their own solipsistic narcissism. In the training room, you mine bitch (sorry, it’s a film hangover). We had quite a lot of fun in Fridays’s event, so it was a good end to variably shitty week. I find that I lead two lives – daytime and evening and I become very resentful when the day bleeds into night.

♥ This week’s scribbles

Tuesday Gig Report: Knickerbocker Glory #1

I love the fabulously talented people I get to work with, so I figured you’d probably like them too.

Wednesday Things I Love: #1 My Marmalade Badger

We have a cat, she is adorable.

Thursday The Desert Crystals – Part Nine: The Abyss, She Cries So Sweet

In the darkness there’s always something listening to you breathe.

Friday Book Review: The Air War (Shadows of the Apt Book Eight) by Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012)

This is one of the best series I’ve ever read.

Updates on my thrilling life

Writing

My increased day and evening activity is doing nothing for my writing productivity. I am having to be very disciplined just to get the next chapter of The Desert Crystals done. I am pleased to note that it’s now at part 9, which makes it the longest thing I’ve written in a very long time. It is also sooooo far off course right now that it’s going to take at least that many words to get it back on track.
Last week’s scribbles

Desert Crystals1Tuesday Shankicide: Shivving with Death Poetry What’s a little angry poem between friends?

Wednesday Lego Blog: Lunchtime Building It’s a good way to fill the middle of the day.

Thursday The Desert Crystals – Part Eight: Running Blind  Lost and alone in a cave. Doesn’t sound promising.

Friday Film Review: Iron Man 3 (2013) Brilliant fun.

Lego

Aaaaaah, the sweet schinkle of Lego bricks. I have finally roofed the ‘Boba Fett’ house I’ve been tinkering with for weeks. It now does not fit on the shelf. This is an annoyance. However I am now able to move on with the general decoration and camouflage I have in mind. It’s still going to be some weeks of half-hours before it’s fit for presentation mind.

While in Derby on Saturday, we took our pal Martin to the toy shops in the enormous labyrinth that is the Westfield centre. I have previously become entirely lost within its perplexing mirrored shapes. There’s a decent The Entertainer in there (as there is in Nottingham, but since we usually only get into Nottingham on a Sunday we can’t go in as they have a rather backward religious attitude to being open on that most useful of days). That has a decent range of Lego, including the new Lego Friends series 2 animal sets. They have a Lego hedgehog! Awesome. We also went to the more impressive Toy Planet which packs a metric fucktonne of stuff into a very small shop. We stared at the Lego wall for some time…. Eventually I emerged with just the Lego Monster Fighters ‘Swamp Monster’ who has great eyes.

Improv Comedy

On Monday Parky and I met the 9 brave souls who are doing the MissImp Improv Beginners course. They’re ace! And also one of the most awesomely diverse groups I’ve worked with. We all very much enjoyed the first session and it was really interesting to see people begin to emerge from their shells. I was also impressed by the speed with which folk assimilated ‘yes and’. We’ll see if it’s stuck during the week…
Incandescent rage on Tuesday meant that I could only attend Fisticuffs for a little while, but we did some lovely scenes off a monologue by Ben about Warhammer “bear me aloft” is my new catchphrase. In any event it did a good job of chilling me out.

Media Intake

Books

I finished The Air War which is why I’m reviewing it this week. I’ve moved on to a really peculiar little tome by Louis Sachar called The Cardturner. It is very much about Bridge (the card game) and the need to inherit money from one’s richer family members. I’m finding it intriguing although the Bridge talk is blowing my mind. I really struggle to learn and remember how to play any card game; I’ve no idea why – I suspect I just don’t care enough to; but Bridge is well, gosh… complex. The author has a lovely device of a whale image preceding a long description of the game (read it yourself to find out why) so you can skip it if you wish and just read the summary at the end of the chapter. It’s a clever way to keep the reader (me) engaged by colluding with my intellectual laziness.

Films

Well, Star Trek: Into Darkness was awful. I tried to enjoy it while it was on, but it made me cringe throughout. It’s dialogue is scarcely better than Fast and Furious 6. Seriously. Both are terrible, but the latter made me laugh a lot more (which seemed to upset the very earnest teens watching the film at Cineworld Nottingham). To fully explore why the new Star Trek film is so bad would take me several hours. I think for now I’ll just go for painfully lazy, disappointingly predictable and well, disappointing.

Chris Pine is still a strikingly poor actor and (unrelated to the film) you can see the future fat man already breaking out of his face. Oh, and Simon Pegg. I usually like the chap, but he is a terrible Scotty. Oh, I’m ranting. Oh well… The entire cast is outacted by Benedict Cumberbatch who plays the largely emotionless but occasionally enraged (oh, it’s going to be Khan isn’t is? It can’t be. That would be too fucking stupid and lazy. Oh no.) Khan. It’s alright though, he’s swiftly defeated because he’s not really the villain (that’s Robocop) and sigh… Finally it ends and the credit sequence shows lots of more exciting and interesting planets.

Television

Extreme exhaustion pushed me to stare at the TV on Friday and Saturday nights to catch up to only a week or so behind with our favourite brain-killers. I’m enjoying the current series of Doctor Who. The more alien Matt Smith’s character becomes the more I like him. We saw Neil Gaiman’s Cyberman episode with the lovely cyberworms and cybermind – it was a nice version of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Best of Both Worlds with the Borgified Jean-Luc Picard. Funnier though.

We’re also catching up with our crop of US crime ‘dramas’: The Mentalist is still ticking over well as the search for Red John continues. I do love watching Patrick Jane destroying any chance at conviction due to entrapment and manipulation. It’s a nice skeptical programme which challenges a lot of magical thinking and parasitic frauds. NCIS now has Jamie Lee Curtis in it! We were surprised, but pleased to see Gibbs maybe get a new ‘head of PsyOps’ girlfriend. Most wonderfully, Justified is back with numerous bangs. This is series 4 I think and it still delights me as much as Deadwood did – having a similar cast helps, but mostly it’s the delightfully lyrical dialogue that I love the most; rarely have shootouts and gang bosses spoken so poetically.

Events and Excitement

MissImp in Action – Friday 31st May

8.30pm at The Glee Club, Nottingham.
High energy improvised comedy show.

Weeks That Have Come Before

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