This week, Monday 3rd June 2013

Lingering Abed.

Sunset WarriorUnbelievably last week was only three working days long, how then could it have felt like six days? It’s cruel and unfair. Never mind, I’ve just had a three day weekend and that has rebalanced things a bit. I don’t seem to get much done at the weekend- mostly we watch TV and sleep (got up at 2 on Sunday!) It’s relaxing, but can get that anxious ‘need to do stuff’ twitch going. It always starts up too late though, and by the time I’m thinking I need to do things it’s Sunday evening.
In truth I have mostly sat with a cat on my lap and stared at things. I could spend the rest of my life like that.

♥ This week’s scribbles

Tuesday Autofiction: Anxiety Weaving

The forces that drive us, or push us apart.

Wednesday Lego Blog: The House in the Weird Jungle

Actual pictures this week!

Thursday The Desert Crystals – Part Eleven: The Bleeding Face of Death

The title of the chapter certainly doesn’t bode well for our heroes…

Friday Book Review: Transformers More Than Meets The Eye volume 3 (2013)

A galaxy away from the ’80s toy peddlers.

Updates on my thrilling life

Writing

I reckon it’s just that work feels so overwhelming at the moment that I’m barely even thinking about writing, other than thinking about how much I’d like to feel like I had time to think about writing… It’s annoying. The weekly The Desert Crystals episode is my life line. While I do feel some anxiety about getting it written in time each week it’s keeping me active and it keeps surprising me. Does everyone feel like this – that almost all we do is actually done by someone else?

I was delighted to be retweeted by George Mann for my review of his book last week. It’s nice when you get a chance to say thank you directly to your heroes.
Last week’s scribbles

Desert Crystals1

Lego

This has been my principal relaxing technique this weekend. I had a nice lie-in on Friday in preparation for the evening’s show and spent a few hours cheerfully rootling through the dinky black bricks and trying to fit them together in interesting ways. You can get some really weird joints and off-set shapes. They don’t necessarily help me get much further – I’m more likely to construct a bizarre shape that I can’t finish. It’s a bit like building the inside of a Rubik’s cube. Interesting, but not helpful. I ended up with the top half of a rather cool black and bright green robot, which I now intend to set in a vignette.

I was massively excited by the news that Lego are releasing a full 1990 brick Ewok Village… just look at that beauty. It’s huge – far too big for me to keep anywhere and likely to retail at about two hundred quid. Ouch. But oooh…

Improv Comedy

Last week was the break week for the beginners so was mainly playtime for me. Fisticuffs on Tuesday was a tonne of fun even though it was just four of us. We have been playing with the Armando format a bit, trying it out, finding variations that suit us and the way we play. I’ve found with most improv longform formats or shortform games that I enjoy them best when we’ve bent them a little and added our own spin. For the Armando I think it’s growing out of our playfulness and informality. On Tuesday all of the inspiring monologues were given with us standing together in a group, adding occasional sarcastic commentary but more importantly having sight of each other. You get a strong sense of when an idea has tickled at someone’s mind and are correspondingly well connected in scenes. We also started one set of scenes straight from a warm up game and that went well too. Trust and group mind go together. That said, I did cruelly edit a scene just as Lloydie was about to throw down a punchline, to mine and Martin’s enormous amusement. It was mean…
We also had the regular monthly show, Missimp In Action at The Glee Club. We had a huuuge audience, apparently our largest and they were noisy and appreciative. It’s a solid team that I enjoy playing with: Lloydie, Ben, Martin, Marilyn and Parky. In particular I got to play with Parky several times; we did a rather delightful scene between Galileo and the King of Spain that made me happy. I also had a good long mocking rant about Lean and business management bullshit in a Whose Line scene set in Ben’s Hell. Good fun, and plenty of great scenes from everyone. I’m pleased to report that our wholly unacceptable and unshareable warm ups have become more complex and inclusive.

Media Intake

Books

It was one of those weird weeks where I have failed to make serious progress in any book. I have started reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart. I very much enjoyed the first story of a mismatched bunch of exceptionally bright youngsters brought together to solve puzzles and defeat evil geniuses. I should emphasise that it’s a book for younger readers, it has a fun way with words, and is witty and clever.
I’ve also taken advantage of Comixology’s Atomic Robo sale and have scooped up volumes 1-4 for a few quidlets each. If you haven’t read them, you should. Robo is Tesla’s awesome automaton and he fights Nazis, an insane dinosaur scientist and many others.

Films

The Purge

Just one this week (we’ve mostly been catching up on our regular television stuff). Gosh, what an odd film. It seems like a not-great remake of Funny Games but in the guise of a sci-fi-ish story. The premise is that America has saved itself and wiped out crime and unemployment by introducing The Purge – for one night each year citizens can commit any crimes they wish (except against ‘level 10 politicians) without penalty. So everyone kills the poor. Or those who they dislike. And so America is strong. Obviously this doesn’t pan out well for the victims in this story. It’s not entirely clear what the film’s message is supposed to be – whether it’s “we need guns to protect us from people with guns”, “fear your neighbours” or “mind your own business” it isn’t made clear enough to make the film worthwhile. Performances are unimpressive, but the kids seem decidedly creepy in mind and action. Maybe that was the message. Who knows.

Events and Excitement

Gorilla Burger – Thursday 13th June

7.30pm at The Corner, Nottingham.
Mixed show of team longform, a guest appearance by Shannon O’Neill with Fisticuffs and a chance to get on stage.

MissImp in Action – Friday 28th June

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

Furthest From The Sea Festival – Saturday 29th June

11am-5pm in the Market Square, Derby.
Free all day festival – music, comedy and more. I’m performing as Captain Pigheart and with MissImp. I’ll also be running improv comedy workshops.

Weeks That Have Come Before

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