Monthly Archives: June, 2006

Star Trek

I’ve decided to watch all of the Star Trek movies, in order. I’m starting with the first one right now. It’s not bad, over all. It’s a Director’s Edition, re-released in about 2000, so all the effects etc have been re-done.  Very pretty.

I do like some of the characters:  Bones is a brilliant doctor, with the typical bucking of authority shown by doctors to military leaders (well, in space, anyway). Commander Decker, though – what a damn pain in the butt.  Whingy, sulky, cleft-in-chin snoot.

We were robbed, I tell you, ROBBED!

Yes, that’s right, we stayed up last night to watch Australia get pipped by Italy. We had a little help from our friends, thankfully: about 5pm we decided to invite a few people over.  Oh yeh, we are so cool:  we had a party that started at midnight!  That will never be matched, I think. There were about 11 of us in the end; it was brilliant. And the game itself was quite entertaining… I really hope the neighbours were either watching it or couldn’t hear us (we’ve never heard them, so presumably…), since we were… rather vocal. 🙂

We were robbed!

Cream, oh yeh

Right now I am watching CREAM in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, from 2005.  They’re all looking a bit old – Ginger Baker looks like Clint Eastwood, which is a bit weird – but Oh My Goodness can they play!  Interesting – jack Bruce is using a four-string; I thought he used to use a 5- or even 6-string.  They’ve done the DVD in a very interesting way:  taken bits from all four nights, and put it together.  They included a couple of songs from different nights as a bonus, which is cool.  (Right now Ginger Baker is playing “Toad”, all on his lonesome – the other two left the stage to give him the limelight – reminds me of John Bonham playing “Moby Dick”.)

It’s made me go and find some Cream bass tabs; I can already (basically) play “Sunshine of your Love”…).

The Manchurian Candidate

We finally watched this last night, instead of Superman III, which just looked a bit dumb.

It was good!  Denzel truly is brilliant, and Meryl Streep is really quite evil (we had just seen a trailer for The Devil wears Prada, and she looks pretty evil in that too).  Urgh to the Oedipal bit… it’s very clever, the whole story:  good twists etc, and good characters.  J didn’t get into it at the start, but I was hooked from the beginning.  American politics and big business… and the Gulf War… good mix for a story, not so much for the real world.

Holy Warriors

I just re-watched the first in this doco series, to make up a question sheet for school.  The thing that really, really struck me this time, in terms of the visuals, was the colours. Jerusalem and surrounds is sand, sun, and orange.  England (what little is shown) is rainy, never sees the sun and is very, very blue.  Veeeery interesting.

And Richard is almost always shown in full armour, except when he is sick, and they show lots of him hacking people up and generally brooding. Saladin gets to be in armour and civvies, tours victorious battle sites, etc.  This may just be a reflection of the fact that this first one is really mostly about Saladin, I guess, and re-taking Jerusalem.  They do both get shown worshipping, which in a show called “Holy Warriors” is just as well…


Is it sacrilege for me to say that I don’t actually like this film, overall?  Maybe it’s better if you’re tripping.

When did Tuesday get so crap?

I think it’s because the final of Survivor is on, so it’s taken over one of the CSIs.  So there’s Big Brother (blech), The Bill (gone too soapie); and some other crap.  Sigh.  What am I going to do??  Maybe I’ll have to watch my Goodies DVDs.

Fishy Update

So I noticed a few days ago that my Monster Black Angel had something weird – white – on his eye.  Then, when I got home last week, I noticed that that eye is completely gone!  Gone, I say!  It looks like someone has pecked it out, although I don’t think that is what happened.  I was quite scared that he would simply ide as a result, but he is still alive – still swimming about – so I don’t really know what’s going on, and whether it will kill him, and whether there is anything I should have done or could do now.

Also on Friday I discovered that the smaller of my two SAEs had died.  No idea why; could be that he was just old.

The rest of the tank… well, there’s the Monster Silver Angel; one long SAE; four (I think) Colombian Tetras; four (or so) Rainbow Widows; five or six Penguin Tetras; maybe six or seven Harlequin Rasboras (I think), and some glowlight and neon tetras.  So precise, I know.

A Houseboat on the Styx

Strange but true – that’s the name of a little book my mother picked up from a book sale last year (I think), and which I just finished reading; can’t remember the author’s name, but it was published in about 1925.  It is, as the name suggests, about a houseboat that a group of the deceased (they call themselves the Associated Shades) decide to set up as a club on the River Styx.  It is, of course, exclusively male – but the author does have some fun with that, which was refreshing to see, although I don’t think he ends up being too favorable to the women.  There’s Socrates, Shakespeare (who tussles with both Bacon and Raleigh over the authorship of his work), Confucius, Demosthenes, Adam, Baron Munchausen, Diogenes, Drs Livingstone and Johnston (and of course Boswel)… a whole raft of interesing men, basically, including a few that I will have to go and look up.  It includes a few contemporary references that I just don’t get, but mostly their discussions are ones that are still interesting and amusing today.  Overall, very entertaining!

The Historian

This, of course, sounds like a book right up my alley, and I did really enjoy it, but it’s probably not what you’d expect.  The debut novel of Elizabeth Kotova (I think that’s right), it’s about a woman, a historian, writing about her father, mother, herself, and sundry others in the search for the truth about Vlad Tepes – Vlad the Impaler – Vlad Dracul, or Dracula.  I would be fascinated to know just how many of the documents she talks about are actually real, and the archives and museums and information in general ditto.

It’s really interestingly written:  much of it is The Historian (mild spoiler here:  major frustration for me – you never actually find out her name!!) reproducing her father’s letters and diaries, and those of a couple of other people.  So it has a few different narratives in there, but all weaving together to form the one great narrative, looking for Dracula.

It could have been gory, sensationalist, too-Gothic or just plain scary, but it’s not.  It’s great.  It really is about history, in lots of different ways, and it is done exceptionally well.  It’s just over 600 pages long, and I read it in four days (without school distracting me) – because I had to, and because it really was that enthralling.