Thursday, December 31, 2015

Don’t feel bad if you’re sensitive to negative feedback because apparently after one particular bad review Hans Christian Andersen was found just sobbing while lying face down in the dirt

Via Amy Spalding

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Favourite Things of 2015 #4: Sufjan Stevens' new album

I've not always been a super fan of Sufjav Stevens. I like his voice and I like plenty of his music but the religious vibe has always put me off, which is a bit dumb I guess given my deep love for Belle and Sebastian, despite Stuart's on-again-off-again flirtation with faith.

So I'm not sure what made me buy Sufjan Stevens' new album, Carrie & Lowell outright when I don't buy that many albums these days. All I know is that I heard it mentioned on a podcast and thought I should give it a listen. I listened to one song and then another and I knew it was an album for me and something I was going to want to listen to over and over again.

As a purchase it has not disappointed: I love this album. In a year that has had some pretty bloody bleak moments this lovely, sad and sometimes deeply depressing album has been like a... well not a balm exactly and not like pouring salt on a wound either but it's been a wonderful accompaniment to some sad and mopey times. To me it's like Madame Bollinger's famous line about drinking champagne when she's happy and also when she's sad. I can listen to this album when I'm in a good mood and when I'm blue as the bluest blue whale and it works on me either way, albeit probably in different ways.

To conclude: love it. Definitely my album of 2015.

Thoughts on watching the first two episodes of the rebooted Dr Who for the first time

1. I really like Billie Piper. She's a delight.

2. This show is hella silly.

3. It's also basically like Star Trek with fewer regular cast members.

4. I'm not sure yet if I'm into it (the only episode of Dr Who I've ever seen that I loved was Blink and the Dr barely features) but I think I might want to keep watching?

Luke Skywalker running away but leaving a map like

Via Rainbow Rowell

Favourite things of 2015 #3: Breakfast at Sayers

To be fair 2015 was not the year I first had breakfast at Sayers. However, it was the year I started having so many breakfasts at Sayers that my dream of being able to order "the usual" came true. It was also the year (mostly) I wrote two terrible novels perched (mostly) at a table at Sayers before work, pecking out awful dialogue while getting chocolate from my breakfast muffin all over the keyboard.

Weekend breakfasts at Sayers with piles of scrambled eggs, newspapers and company are a delight. But it's the weekday breakfasts with me and my laptop that have proved to be a bit of a revelation to me this year. Getting some writing-for-fun done before my day of writing-for-money begins feels great. Doing it while eating a giant muffin (so good) and drinking too much tea is even better.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Plus Andy Samberg is very much in my wheelhouse, let's not discount that as a factor

Recently I found myself having a real craving to rewatch Celeste and Jesse forever, a completely charming little movie I haven't thought about in yonks. Only when I was curled up in bed with my laptop, watching the above opening sequence (which I love) did I realise what I really wanted was a bit of an excuse to weep. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Favourite things of 2015 #2: Mad Max: Fury Road

I loved the new Star Wars movie but I pretty much expected to love it. Because of my love for the franchise I also cannot assess it objectively at all, nor do I want to hear arguments from anyone who didn't love it because I just don't care.

Of all the movies I saw this year (and there were a lot of movies) the one that blew me away was Mad Max: Fury Road because I went in thinking hmmmm and came away feeling like I had watched the perfect action film.

Favourite things of 2015 #1: Running

Two friends are back in town for Christmas this year so I've been thinking a bit about what's changed since I saw them last.

There have been plenty of little things I've done and great experiences I've had but the single biggest new thing I've done this year has been to start running and - however implausible it seems - to fall in love with running.

I started running in March or April with the ambition of finishing a 4K, which seemed impossible at the time. When that was done I set my sites on a 12K which seemed even harder. When I finally dragged myself through a half-marathon earlier this month it seemed like the logical conclusion. It was also... almost fun. Scratch the almost it was really fun: the planning and the aftermath, at least, if not the actual running bit, which was on the tiring side.

Running lets me eat more or less what I want without getting Orca fat. It also gives me a sense of achievement (some may call it smugness) and helps minimise anxiety and blue moods. 

With the odd exceptions (I mean sometimes I am really not in the mood) the days that I wake up knowing I'm going for a run are my favourite days. And the days that I wake up to run and then go and eat back those calories with a pile of pillowed eggs or an over-stuffed chocolate muffin are the best days of all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

"I can see Han and Lando, like, competitively jerking off, but not fucking"

Over at Pajiba you can read A Serious Discussion Of Which Original Trilogy Star Wars Character Is Best In Bed and, really, why wouldn't you? Han Solo is the obvious choice, to me, but I think they might have talked me into Obi-Wan just a little bit.

As for the new instalment? Poe, Poe, a thousand times Poe.

Friday, December 18, 2015


I have so many feelings about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But to avoid even slightly spoiling people I'll just say that I thought it was super rad, much fun and you should go and see it now before you get spoiled. SERIOUSLY WHY WOULD YOU RISK THIS? Also my deep love for Oscar Isaac continues to grow to the point where I have to acknowledge I can never ever interview him for work - in the super unlikely event such an opportunity arose - because I would in no way be able to keep my cool and shit would get weird.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Things my Body Pump instructor says that make me think she's an anarchist:

"That's the way the world controls you. You can't do what you want, you have to do what they say." 

Sure, bitch was talking about the choreography for a new Les Mills biceps track but I think she makes a valid point...

Monday, December 14, 2015

This is what my summer is going to sound like.

Also: the sound of cold drinks being poured into glasses and salty crisps giving way to my super sharp teeth.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Felines of New York

“I go after the feather. I kill the feather. But the feather keeps coming back. Quite honestly it’s exhausting, but what is life if you’re not going after something? I just need to lay here for another minute. I’ll be fine.”

“I listen to music a lot, but not by choice. I don’t know how to turn it off. If I had it my way this place would be dead silent so I could hear if anything was crawling around.”

“I’m a little worried about entering the current job market. I just don’t think I have the work experience everyone is looking for. I don’t even have a resume. I know this sounds vain, but I’ll have to rely on my youth and good looks to stay afloat for as long as I can.”
“I think you’ll be fine. Nobody expects you to work.”
“Oh. That’s right.”

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Things I have been watching lately #1304

“Look out Boots, I’m going to buy a hundred meal 
deals and eat them off a prozzie in the nude.”

Monday, December 7, 2015

5 reasons to watch Mr Robot, according to me, after a weekend binge watch

It's a TV series about hacking that doesn't make hacking seem like magic.

It has female characters who a) aren't love interests for the main dude, b) talk to each other, c) do things.

For every "fuck society" and "down with the man" statement that might make you roll your eyes there's something to suggest the show doesn't 100 per cent buy into a lot of the stuff that comes out of the mouths of its characters.

Rami Malek is, to be sure, distinctive to look at but at some point he became super attractive to me so now that's all I see and it'll happen to you too.

It is a lot of fun.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's a bit funny, actually

The Richard Curtis film Love Actually seems to me to be one of those things that divides people, like Vegemite and awkward comedy: either you loooooove it and can't stand people who don't love it too or you haaaaaaate it and have no respect for anyone who feels differently.

But I sit somewhere in between: I hate some storylines but I don't hate the film. I love some storylines but I don't love the film. What an enigma I am.

Anyway, what I have been sort of loving is Thirty Days of Love Actually which is, well, what it sounds like. This on Mark (played by the usually delightful Andrew Lincoln) in what is, for my money, the creepiest storyline of them all:
What better way to kick-off this insane project than with a few hundred over a thousand words on the character at the centre of the film’s most controversial plotline - Mark. Settle in for a wild ride as we dissect Mark’s failed attempts at big pimpin, his music tastes and answer the question once and for all - is he a total creep?
Most contemporary analysis of Mark focuses on his quasi-stalking of Keira Knightley’s character, Juliet (who gets married to his best mate Peter at the start of the film), but I’d argue Mark’s weirdness is established much earlier on.
I’ve not yet had the responsibility of being best man at a wedding, but I am familiar with what’s required. Organise the buck’s night, make a speech, don’t be too much of a twat. Sadly, it’s all a bit of a struggle for poor old Mark. We discover in the film’s seventh scene that his attempt to organise Brazilian prostitutes for Peter’s buck’s was derailed when it emerged the prostitutes were, in fact, men. There’s actually another weird bit in the film here when Peter, who is about to get married to Juliet, suggested that it would have been really excellent party if the prostitutes were actually women. Presumably so he could sleep with them? Is sleeping with Brazilian prostitutes a common thing people do immediately prior to getting married? Anyway we’ll cover this in more detail when we get to Peter. Back to Mark.
You can read the rest here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Adriaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan or Unexpected Pleasures in the movie Creed:

1. I didn't need to have seen Rocky to be completely caught up 5 minutes into the movie.
2. Michael B Jordan. In multiple tank-tops. That clung to him when he sweated.
3. Sly Stallone being kinda... charming?
4. It acknowledged that boxing is basically a really stupid thing to do. Which: word.
5. Generic Love Interest was not so generic. She had, I don't know, implied backstory and everything. It's a low bar to clear but I'll take what I can get.
6. Michael B Jordan being charming as hell. Also the tank-top thing. I'm not over it.

Things I still spend money on even though I'm poor because otherwise life would not be worth living: a slightly more upbeat list

Going out for dinner
Going out for breakfast
Going out for wine

Things I used to spend money on that I no longer spend money on because I'm poor: a depressing list

Magazines (mostly I can borrow these from work anyway)
Books (hello Mr Library)
Massages ("Oh, Andy...")
Pedicures (my toenails are totally fucked up from running anyway so this isn't a great loss)

Classic fucking LOVE STORY?

Um, no. Trying harder The Viewing Lounge.