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So. My LJ now does this thing where arbitrarily it seems, I can only see the 13 most recent entries by my friends. I used to be able to scroll back, seeing up to 20 entries at a time as far back as I wanted of what y'all had been posting. Now it appears I can't. I'm on a plus account. Have I lost functionality through some re-arranging by the PTB? Because if so, tis rubbish. What do you have for me on this, interwebs?
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I'd talk to the snake that tempted Eve.
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I'm not usually one for this sort of thing. But I reckon if I can do these few small things, I will make my own life better in a lot of ways.

1. When I get home, if I need to eat, do that before anything else.

2. Spend less time on Facebook/the Internet.

3. Go to bed before 11.30pm.

How hard can it be?
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Just got back from watching The Ghost by Roman Polanski. One of the best films I have seen in a very long time. Profoundly depressing, beautifully shot, with a magnificently complementary score (you want sinister? The low register of the clarinet has got you covered, baby!) and great performances from everyone involved. I wondered why I recognised Robert Pugh. It's because I saw him in the second part of Doctor Who earlier today. Olivia Williams, who was my main motivation for going to see the film, was fantastic. Ewan McGregor can't do a cockney accent, but it could have been worse. A very good ending to a film, although as McGregor's character points out, he's not an investigative reporter. If he was, he'd've told a few more people about the massive scandal he had uncovered. Maybe I should do a masters on how the news media are portrayed in the media. Because people either get it wrong or miss opportunities every time. But apart from that, no real niggles. I've not read the book it's based on, but I may well do so now, having seen the film. It certainly elevated grey claustrophobia to an art form.
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"Not burning your enemy's flag leads, then, not to more respect for different cultures, but to a cacophonous din about why my flag is more deserving of being left unburnt than yours." - Kenan Malik
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"I am contending for the rights of the living and against their being willed away, and controlled, and contracted for, by the manuscript-assumed authority of the dead." - Thomas Paine
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"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties." - John Milton
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Yes. Two. I have met them both along with two other good friends from the same country as me. We're currently all living in the UK and try to meet up at least once a year, though we're in contact a good deal more frequently than that and not just through Livejournal. In fairness, we met on a fansite that wasn't Livejournal, but we all emigrated here fairly early on in the friendship and it's where a good sized chunk of our interaction has taken place. I've known them something ridiculous like 12 years. They're some of my best and closest friends and sometimes I don't know what I'd do without them. In no particular order, many thanks to [ profile] firstedition, [ profile] lykanthropoi, [ profile] wyrd_pixie and [ profile] glitterary. All of you are very much for the win.
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First film you can remember seeing?
Beauty and the Beast.

Last film you saw that you loved?

First film you saw on a date?
Shrek. We went to the cinema at random and that was the most promising offering. Our next cinema trip was less successful. We were supposed to be seeing The Others but it was sold out and my then other half point blank refused to watch whichever Harry Potter was screening at the time. We ended up watching Legally Blonde, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would and he utterly detested.

First film you can remember that you disagreed strongly with the critics/reviews about?
I don't know. There are a lot of reviews I read and never see the films for.

What film have you dreamed about?
Star Wars. But I don't remember what happened.

A secret thing you did in a darkened theatre:
Why waste money on paying to watch a film and then make out? Surely you could just do that at home with the lights off? Or you know, in the garden shed or something?

Ever lied about something so you could see a film?
Nope. I don't like lying.

The worst film you ever saw and the best thing about it:
Dude Where's My Car? and the part where I got to leave the cinema.

One person you’ve never seen a film with but would like to sometime:
[ profile] wyrdpixie

What kind of film you’d like to see with that person:
Doesn't matter :)

A film you’re embarrassed to admit you enjoyed:
There aren't any. Actually I take that back, X-Men 3. I enjoyed it, despite realising it was a train wreck of plotting, characterisation and logic. There were explosions and Hugh Jackman got his top off. But I probably enjoyed being angry about it, more than I enjoyed the chest on display.

Your favorite film and the worst thing about it:
I'm really not sure what my favourite film is. There are so many I love.

To understand something about you, people need to see this film:
Watch Labyrinth and appreciate David Bowie's eyebrows. That is where my love stems from. I swear. It's NOT the crotch, people, NOT THE CROTCH! Everyone insists it must be, but it's the eyebrows and that scene where he's wearing the blue crushed velvet jacket and has a sparkly face... ::melts::

A film you haven’t seen yet but you really want to?
Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll, The Men Who Stare At Goats, A Single Man.

A film character you could really relate to, or even wish you could be like?
That's difficult, because there are certain aspects of characters I could definitely relate to or say I had in common with them, but that wouldn't make me that character. One of my exes called me Kiddo for a while, in reference to Kill Bill and the fact I do martial arts and I liked it as a nickname because what I liked most about Kill Bill was all the kick-ass female fighters in it, but I'm not about to go on a killing spree and probably never would. I can relate to Cady Herron in Mean Girls when she completely doesn't understand the girl world rules. I would like to be Mystique in X-Men, though less evil. I can relate to Tim Messenger in Hot Fuzz though I spell better than him and don't want to be decapitated by a falling church spire. In terms of personality, I'm probably most like Kat Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You. In fact, she's probably the closest to me I've ever seen in any film. Though I have yet to flash my tits at a teacher.

If you were a film, what genre would you be filed under at the video store?
The incredibly niche genre of fantasy female gangster flicks where the heroine strides about in flat shoes, preferably boots, wearing a battered black leather trench coat, generally kicking ass, fighting crime, drinking amaretto and lemonade, delivering snappy one-liners and riding a flying motorbike by night. By day, she is a respected concert clarinettist, with a happily dysfunctional family, who live in a converted chapel with its own dojo in the extension. No, this is not a screenplay I'm working on, but perhaps it should be.
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Although, the day before I wrote this I had worked a 12 hour day with no lunch break. So that's why it's written in bullet points. There are some spoilers, but for anyone who gives monkeys, I suspect you already know what happens. But here's what I thought of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. )
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I feel like I don't have the energy to say anything of value here anymore. Of course, it may just be the tired and the alcohol talking. Maybe I'll feel better in the morning.
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Have I lost weight?

I would like to have lost weight. But when three people who haven't seen me in ages all say, in the space of a day, "You've lost weight, haven't you?" it unsettles me.

My efforts at losing weight have been limited to the odd bit of yogalates and attempting (and failing) to eat salad for lunch.

It could be because I'm working myself into the ground, on top of driving for at least two hours a day. But I'm not convinced.

Maybe it's the (lack of) sleep. I could do with more.

I had quite a severe haircut today. Maybe that's it. The weight of hair is no longer dragging me down.

I don't know why this is bothering me so much.
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I've been a fan of occasional yoga for a year or so now because I've found it wonderfully relaxing and one of the few things that actually improves the RSI in my wrists.

I have just the one yoga DVD that I bought in publishers' outlet, The Works. The instructor is an Australian man called Gary Bromley. His instructions and commentary are generally clear but occasionally he'll throw in a turn of phrase that I find genuinely odd, such as "allow your eyeballs to soften". What? What are my eyeballs? Are they small round lumps of hard cheese which will go off and go runny in my head while I do this posture? Wait! How did my foot get round behind my head again? Help!

For the most part, the way he speaks does not distract me, but then he'll tell me to "feel my joins oskillating". Maybe this is a quirk of Australian pronunciation, but I've always said 'oscillating' as "ossillating". What is this oskillating of which you speak?

I though it might just be this man who spoke in a way I found slightly bizarre, until I tried my recently acquired yogalates DVD after work this evening. I can't generalise on the basis of two DVDs, but the instructor on this one, a woman called Louise Solomon who is also Australian, has one of the oddest voices I've ever heard. Overall, it's not especially unsettling, but the odd word grates intensely. She says "baarrley" for "belly" and "barrdy" for "body". On top of that, the intonation of her sentences can be incredibly disconcerting. If they ever announce the apocalypse in gentle, feminine robot tones, she'll have made the recording they use. She splits sentences in two, with the majority of the words in the first part. She'll pick up the pitch towards the end of the first section, then pause, before speaking the last word or two at a much lower pitch. She sounds like the female computerised voice you get in lifts: "We have now reached the [...] third floor. Allow your body to [...] surrender." What? Surrender? I'm supposed to be relaxing! What have I surrendered to? Have the flesh-eating ants of Judgement Day arrived already?

At one point she described the baarrley as like a bowl of jelly and told me to imagine my internal organs floating above the spine. I had a sudden image of jelly with internal organs suspended in it rather like pieces of fruit.

She also has a fixation with softening eyes it seems, telling me at one point to allow them to settle back into their sockets. Why? Had she been yanking on them with pliers beforehand? God knows. But when she told me my joints were melting, I just couldn't concentrate any longer and gave myself up to visions of The Wizard of Oz "Whoever would have thought a small amount of liquid would ever fall on meeeeeee?" Not the intended outcome I'm sure.

But then, this is a woman who says at the end of the workout "I would like to donate the energy of this DVD to promoting global healing."


However, she obviously knows her stuff as my increasingly jelly-filled insides can testify. I will certainly be attempting this work out again in future.
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I spent most of this evening trying, and largely failing, to cook.

It started with the tomato soup. I've never made tomato soup from scratch but I thought two tins of chopped tomatoes, two red onions and a clove of garlic and some creme fraiche should do the trick, right? Wrong.

Firstly, I burnt it because I was on the phone and let it boil too much. The gas was on low, but it still had started burning. I poured everything into another saucepan, washed the first pan and then tried to blend the veg. I burnt myself when soup splashed up from the pan and got it on my clothes, the wall and the cooker. It also transpired that the onions weren't really cooked enough, despite having been fried for a bit and then boiled for another 10 minutes. I decided to try sieving it. This worked well and was producing a nice creamy looking soup. But somehow I just kept splashing myself and getting stains all over my new top. It also took FOREVER. I was left with lots of vegetable pulp which was veeerrry sloooowwwllyy being passed through the mesh of the sieve. I got bored of this and just mixed it in with everything else. It still tasted burnt so I added some sugar. It then tasted burnt and sweet, which would have been nice if it was toffee, but sweet, burnt tomato soup is not so nice. I added the creme fraiche and ate it with some basil, trying not to screw my mouth up too much. This is dinner for at least one more night. It doesn't taste too bad, but it's not what I was expecting. Then again, maybe I was expecting Heinz and should have just bought a tin in the first place.

The chocolate brownie I made afterwards, and which my family are getting for Easter, was a breeze in comparison. Using Bailey's in the mixture (as opposed to in the icing) and muscovado sugar instead of granular makes for a much stickier structure. I used 100g of milk chocolate instead of 125g and added more cocoa to stiffen the mixture. It rose a lot more than usual but might sink with cooking, we'll see. I say it myself, but I make damn good brownie. Sometimes I make it with cointreau and orange peel. Sometimes I make alcoholic icing and sometimes not. This evening I added grated almonds. Now I just need to get good at making other things. I do like cooking, but it's more fun when it works...
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This is cheering me up slightly. Beautiful.


Nov. 29th, 2008 04:49 pm
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Put your music player on shuffle. Write down the first line of the first twenty songs. The first line of the twenty-first song is the title. Where my player chose songs by an artists already selected I skipped on through those to get a wider selection.

Behold my poem of nonsense:

Survive tonight, I may be going down

Don't you love her madly?
This thing called love
You tell me you're leaving, I can't believe it's true

I get high on a buzz
The dream's dying mother
I'm an alligator

I find it in the atlas, flipping over old news
Monty, this seems strange to me.

Some of us are reaching for stardust
There's dirt in the machine, yeah where there's oxygen there's rust
Humidity is rising, barometer's getting low

You don't have a clue what it is like to be next to you
I've got a little black book with my poems in
still in a gondolier

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
I can't stand by and see you destroyed

Good golly said Little Miss Molly
I know I've been saying there's something I have to prove

Steady girl on your feet, you and your wandering
The city is a jungle, you'd better take care, never walk alone after midnight.
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I am NaNoWriMo-ing. I didn't do anything on November 1 because Eddd was over here, but a sudden burst of creativity today around a character who I randomly invented because I really wanted to use the name "Minthoffer" has brought me well beyond the catch up zone.

I am writing a bad sci fi novel. So far, it contains:

  • People with silly names, like Wolfvald, Davod and Adrenalina

  • War. In space, yo'.

  • A streetwise street urchin with his own bank account

  • Hinted at but undetailed nookie

  • Cigar-smoking spies

  • Twins. Lots of 'em

  • Scientific concepts that are total bollocks in the real universe.

Have I fulfilled all the criteria? You decide. It's good fun so far though, I'll be well chuffed if I actually manage to finish this.


Oct. 21st, 2008 06:15 pm
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Comment on this and I'll ask you five questions and then you post this in your journal and blahdeblah... you get the picture.

Q&A )
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