This week, Monday 2nd September 2013

There’s No Business Like Show Business

Fat EyeI have no idea why I put that as the title save that it bounced through my head as I put finger to key, along with Family Guy’s ‘A Bag of Weed’: “A bag of weed / A bag of weed / Everything is better with a bag of weed”. What a jolly afternoon. I’m in a rather perky mood today. I believe it is the commingling of circumstances both splendid and septic.

For that last week (a three day work week) I’ve been struggling with some personal stress and anxiety which on Tuesday erupted in hideous ‘fat-eye’. It’s an allergic reaction of some kind I’ve had once before (almost exactly a month ago) which caused my eyelids to redden, swell titanically and itch and ache just as you would expect. That’s been lovely… Ice, numerous antihistamines and the impossibility of getting a doctor’s appointment unless you have a squalling rat-child or are yourself near death had combined to do little to alleviate my ocular suffering.

Despite that I blundered on in discomfort and hideousness. The week ended well with work (I achieved some things I was supposed to do a fortnight ago… winner) and culminated in a magnificent show I shall babble about in the appropriate section leaving me utterly delighted. A powerful lie-in ensued and then a friend from work dropped off some serious French A-grade pharmaceuticals to pour into my eyes. They have now gone from jellyfish ballooning to mere crabby crustiness. It is good. So yeah, that’s my week…

♥ This week’s scribbles

Tuesday Shankania: The Nation State of Hate Poetry Tongue-lashings of micro verse.

Wednesday Lego Blog: Series 11 Minifigures The obsession runs riot.

Thursday The Desert Crystals Part 20 “Eye In The Sky” Some days it just doesn’t work out.

Friday Film Review Shorties: Elysium / Pain and Gain (2013) Some films to watch / avoid.

Updates on my thrilling life

Writing

We hit episode 20 of The Desert Crystals this week! It’s pretty exciting, for me at least – that’s somewhere over 20,000 words on a single story. I’ve rarely spent so much time exploring the same world over such a long period of time (most of this year). The 1,000 word chapters in serial form seems to work for me. I’ve now got multiple story threads and a dozen or so main characters to juggle; I feel like I’m neglecting some of them. One day they’ll surely get near the Crystal Finches of lore…

I’m painfully aware that I haven’t written a pirate story for ages. But then I’m not performing much as the Captain of late, and I find the two go together. Mebbe get me some more Derby action. On the other hand, I am enjoying the Autofiction, it gives me a licence to talk bollocks, which is helpful as it extracts that self-centred monologue and puts it safely on screen where I can forget about it.

Last week’s scribbles

Tuesday Autofiction: I Know Not What You Do Our assumptions about ourselves and others.

Wednesday Lego Blog: Pigs Vs Cows A really exciting Kickstarter I was happy to back.

Thursday The Desert Crystals: Part 19 “Newly Bespecatcled” You can’t just abandon your post and go off adventuring.

Friday Film Review Shorties: Kick Ass 2, The Heat, Now You See Me Good, good, lame.

Lego

I have had a good Lego week. I’ve completed my Jabba’s Palace extension and moved on to constructing a version of the droid dungeon from the same. It meant I had to rewatch Return of The Jedi, a terrible chore. I’d selected the Special Edition just in case there was some extra footage of the dungeon. I don’t think there was, but since the set appears to be entirely black with someone mystifyingly torturing a Gonk droid I figure I can do what the hell I want.

I’m rather short of sand coloured bricks but I think I’ve got the gloominess right. Now I need to build some droids! I don’t just want prequel Battle Droids, but I do have about twenty of their arms. I’ve got lots of cool robotic Lego heads, so I’ll try to work some of them in. I may not have left myself enough floor space to get much in though. Inevitably I shall rebuild it and enlarge (this is the second attempt anyway).
I’ve also done a significant reshuffle and organisation of bricks, which makes me absurdly happy.

Improv Comedy

Good lord, what a night! On Friday we had our regular MissImp in Action monthly show in a highly irregular way. Our usual venue The Glee Club had mis-diaried again (apparently failing to grasp the meaning of ‘monthly’) so we fell back on our weekly venue The Corner. We were also painfully short of our usual players (holiday, hundreds of miles away, broken etc.) so I decided to take some risks. We take risks on stage in improv all the time, but we also get used to doing things a certain way and place expectations on ourselves that are unfair and unjustified, partly because of what we think others want from us (in part this is what I was ranting about on Tuesday XXX). In the end we put 14 performers on the stage, including only four of the regular show team. They were a combination of weekly regulars, longtime members and new folk, some of whom have done the odd course with us, some had done almost nothing! Fuck me but it were brilliant.

Here’s the line up:

Monday Mayhem – Geoff, Jamie, Becky, David V, Andrew & Colin (first time on stage ever).

These guys have been playing extra on Monday’s in a free jam workshop that Geoff has been running for a couple of months (it’s on the jam page of MissImp.co.uk). They bowled out our opening half-hour of tight, funny short-form games. Their ‘Henry’ was very good indeed and the whole thing was an excellent start to the evening.

MontagegasmTeam 1: David F, Helen, Jamie, Marilyn & David V. Team 2: Rupes, Martin, James, Becky & me.

Two teams firing out incredibly weird and funny scenes from a single audience suggestion. Strong, strange and lovely group scenework.
Then we took a break… and had a nice chat with some of our longtime fans in the pleasant coolness outside. We had a ‘bring your own drinks’ policy that people really took advantage of! Also a lot of lovely feedback about the show and venue.

The Fallen Angels – Eddie, Marilyn, Martin & David.

Eddie’s team were using and fucking with the ‘Armando’ format – monologues by Eddie and Marlilyn followed by three scenes each. They hit films as a theme pretty fast and did a series of screamingly funny scenes – “I’m a cockerney indeed”, and the “moist seat”.

Unspeakable Acts – Martin, David, Marilyn & me.

We did Jaws us-style. The screenplay is endless baffling description which we skipped and laughed at, before using just a single line of written dialogue and discarding our source material. It’s such a loose format and I love it. We bounded out into the audience-sea and fought a shark and giant octopus.

That was very possibly the most fun show I’ve taken part in, and I’m grateful and delighted by the contributions everyone made. I can’t think of any reason not to do this again.

Media Intake

Books
I’m reading Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. I actually started by reading the third in the series, like a twat (I’m positive I checked the dates…) I do wish series’ would be helpfully numbered more often. Anyway, it’s great. It’s like The Bill does The Dresden Files – one young constable’s induction into the magical section of the Met. Funny and surprising.

Films and TV

We’re enjoying a late afternoon Sunday film most week’s now, to go with some close friends. It’s proving fun, but it means I have to re-shuffle all my other activities because we get back fairly late (thank goodness the trains have returned). Elysium was all that I’d hoped for last week and I’m writing this just before going to see Pain and Gain; it may be great, but more likely it will be awful.

We’ve been caning through the Dexter TV series box set. The habit of consuming a disc at a time (3 episodes = 1/4 of a series) is seriously addictive. As a result we’re likely to finish season 5 in the next day… I originally saw season 1 and 2 about five years ago, but it wasn’t on terrestrial TV and I drifted away. I am so glad Dad got me the box set for Christmas. Series 6 is also sitting on the shelf. The combination of family and cop drama with serial killing is brilliant. It’s dipped occasionally but the climaxes and cliff hangers are magnificent. This series has Julia Stiles (who I like a great deal) and Peter Weller (who I also like a great deal) in it. Yay.

Events and Excitement

Gorilla Burger – Thursday 12th September

7.30pm at The City Gallery, Nottingham.
Improv comedy, bring your own drinks – we’ll let anyone on stage!

Nottingham Comedy Festival: Pub Poetry – Tuesday 24th September

7.30pm at the Canalhouse, Nottingham.
Open mic comic poetry and spoken word for everyone (in a pub).

Nottingham Comedy Festival: MissImp in Action – Friday 27th September

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

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