Daily Archives: June 20th, 2006


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.

More movies

We watched Die Another Day on Sunday night; it’s not bad, I guess.  Maybe it’s just because I am older now, but I don’t remember the older films being quite so full of innuendo.  And I knew there was something that really, really annoyed me about this film from when we saw it at the theatre:  if you’ve got a solar-powered, ultra-weapon, why would you use it just to destroy landmines? Why not destroy Seoul, if you want South Korea on its knees?  Better yet, why not Washington or London??  Seriously, it’s just stupid.

Later edit: one really cool thing about this James Bond movie.  Finally I know why he is Q!  Stands for Quartermaster, of course! (At least, that’s their story now, and they’re sticking to it, I would guess).

We tried to watch Matrix Reloaded last night, but it just didn’t work.  Simply could not get in to it at all – even after 30 minutes.  We might give it another go, since we’ve got it for a week and we got out Revolutions too.  Might have to get through the daft beginning, because I remember that there were some bits that I quite liked.  Instead, we watched…

Cypher, with Jeremy Northam and Lucy Liu.  No idea when it was made, but I really enjoyed it.  Its style reminded me a bit of Gattaca – quite spare, and very few indications that it was set in the future; outside was filmed very orange.  Quite a fascinating premise, of corporate espionage taken to ridiculous, murderous lengths.  Northam was, of course, great.  It strikes me that this must be a relatively recent film, because I don’t think Liu got much attention before All McBeal, but I could be wrong.

And right now I am watching 2001:  A Space Odyssey, because I read the books only a month or so ago (really must get a copy of 3001 – I’ve read it, but not in years).  It’s quite a remarkable movie; so little dialogue!  The opening really is quite boring, I think – don’t know how your average 60s audience would have responded.  I was struck by just how much of it has been parodied since; I knew this had happened, but not having seen it in ages I had forgotten lots of touches, like the man-ape’s arm raised with the bone in hand to crush a skull.  Really quite magnificent, I think, overall – especially considering this was pre-moon landing.

Class of the Titans

I first saw this TV show (on Rollercoaster on the ABC, a good idea, the descendent of The Afternoon Show, with a truly atrocious presenter, which is very sad) a few weeks ago.  I missed the start of it so I was a bit bemused about who the kids were.  I guessed that Jay was Jason, and the Henry had to be Herakles, and Odey was clearly Odysseus.  The others stumped me a bit though – I guess I should have guessed that the preening Neill would be Narcissus, but I guess I didn’t expect that he would make it into a show about the descendents of Greek heroes – since he didn’t have descendents, and wasn’t a hero!  But I do like Theresa as Theseus – gender-bending, yeh!  Not a bad show, in all – quite a diverting little show.