I have been burying myself in films and books this last week. It’s much easier than dealing with the world. It also reminds me of why I so rarely read non-fiction: I already live in this world, why would I want to read about it? I’d much rather dissolve into a realm of beasts, robots, battles and magic/futuristic science. I guess that also influences my current feelings about what I enjoy in improvisation. Kitchen sink drama and work conflicts are fine – often beautifully acted and affecting, but I’ve got those things already. Bring on the absurd, far-fetched and unimaginable.
In even bigger personal news I am going on a short solo break. Yup, I’m escaping from everybody for a few days next week and vanishing off to Amsterdam. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get there, but I’m hopeful it will be a helpful soothing of what few wits I have left. Of course, the prospect of travelling and going off on my own has also provoked a degree of anxiety… dammit!
To add further change to the mix we’ve also acquired delightful new monsters as cushions for our front room. I love ’em.
Yet again I had a great time playing with The Same Faces in Leicester. Parky and I joined Tom, Allan, Doug and Dave for an evening of gay abandon. It’s refreshing to play the classic Whose Line games again with a fun bunch of chaps and an audience happy to be pleased. They’re back in Leicester at The Criterion on Saturday 7th June.
I’m delighted to have discovered that Helix is finally continuing on Channel 5. They did the first half of the series earlier in the year and I just happened to notice it was being repeated… and continuing with the rest of the show. I don’t know how you’re supposed to find out this is happening unless you watch the bloody thing all the time. Thank the digital masters of creation for giving us boxes to record whole series on. Anyway… it’s great – the claustrophobic genetic horror is banging along nicely. The arrival of
Seven of Nine Jeri Ryan seems to have kicked off a tonne more drama, and a better effects budget too. We’re finally getting a glimpse of just how big the base is with some lovely CGI views (from an elevator). I’m enjoying it enormously.
Agents of SHIELD continues to be quite fun and entirely undemanding viewing. It’s really not reaching the heights it’s capable of, but we have now caught up with the effects of Captain America – The Winter Soldier. I’m still hoping it will make a terrific character leap forwards and become truly unmissable, like the films it accompanies.
We watched the first episode of Fargo last week. I was a bit reluctant, mainly because the trailer looked like it was just mocking the sweet Minnesotan accent, and also I often find Martin Freeman to be entirely bland and unlikeable. Maybe it’s just Freeman with a comedy accent, but I’m enjoying his pathetic everyman very much. I was impressed by the first episode’s high body count – they’ve set up a lot for the series to work through. It also made me laugh a great deal watching Billy Bob Thornton‘s grim humoured hitman wreak havoc on the stupid. I’ll get to watch episode 2 this week.
Codex Alera – Jim Butcher
I’ve just finished Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. I finished book five at the beginning of last week and dove straight into six afterwards. It’s been a very satisfying series, and markedly different to Butcher’s better known wizard detective Dresden books. At first I was disappointed by the apparent lack of Harry’s grim humour, but that gallows style developed throughout the five books, as the situation and the stakes grew ever higher and more dangerous.
Like most good fantasy worlds it’s an once familiar and disconcerting. This is swords and sorcery stuff combined with the rise to power of an unassuming youth. Magic here is by manipulating the furies, elemental spirits present across all of Alera. They provide some outstanding battles and inventive plots throughout. The peoples of Alera are surrounded by barbarous neighbours (as ever) and diverse threats both externally and internally.
The character base is mostly the middle to upper echelons of society as we follow young Tavi’s progress from shepherd to spy-in-training and into soldiery (more would provide too many spoilers). There are some very affecting relationships and hard decisions for everyone. The series gets increasingly epic and confident until it reaches its final brutal conflict. I’ve very much enjoyed the series and am now rather sad that it is over. I hope Mr Butcher decides to return to the world some day.
♥Last Week’s Scribbles
This week, Monday 27th April 2014 – a week of little success.
Lego Blog: Gingerbread “Winter Village” Toy Shop – I’m so pleased with this rebuild, it’s all lovely.
Shankalamadingdong – the Joy of Angry Poetry – fuck the world and watch it burn.
Events and Excitement
Thursday 8th May 2014
Gorilla Burger – Improv Comedy Carnage
Jam show – a chance for anyone to get on stage and have a go at improv games and scenes for the first time, or the fiftieth!
8 Stoney Street
(off Broad Street)
7.30pm – £4
Bring Your Own Drinks
Saturday 17th May 2014
Pulling Your Cosmic Trigger
- DAISY ERIS CAMPBELL Adapting Illuminatus author Robert Anton Wilson‘s cult autobiography for the stage
- JOHN HIGGS Author of The KLF: Chaos, Magic, and the Band Who Burned A Million Pounds
- ADRIAN REYNOLDS Press When Illuminated – magic, madness, medicine and mesmerism
- ANNA REYNOLDS A Modern Fairy Tale presented by the Storyteller and Performance Coach
- MISSIMP Improv Comedy Nottingham
8 Stoney Street
(off Broad Street)
Nottingham from 5.00pm – £5 (suggested donation)