Saturday, October 21, 2006

Aha! Now we know...

So that’s what the CS Expo is really like...

Emily, we’re coming over next year, so we'll buy lunch in exchange for some parking tips.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fire The Engines Of God

Partly due to the nagging feeling that, due to being out of London and not having huge amounts of room for people to stay, I'd been putting off sorting any kind of celebration for my birthday (40th, Sunday 29th Oct - cash always accepted) on the purely pragmatic notion that in all likelihood very few people would be able to turn up.

I’ve since been cajoled by more sensible people into emailing a selection of the elite from the address book, and have got a good response back about who fancies coming and whether or not, at their ages, they could even contemplate fancy dress. Well, what's the point of becoming an adult, earning cash and having all those bills to pay if you can’t occasionally dress like a twat? I know I’m going to give the boots (see earlier post) a good outing... ;-)

So, the Birthday Party Planning Campaign swings into action like a well-oiled machine. With several (if not all) of the vital components missing. Because I’ve done so little prep, I have no idea what I’m going to do for the evening, other than some nebulous “party” thing.

I’ve bought a big fire-pit, as it’s October and cold. Laugh all you want, LA-types...

I’ve made some lists of things to buy (even bought a couple...).

I’m going to cook, so there are quite a few large food-warming devices to be requisitioned.

Obviously, the English will drink furiously (note to self - order more booze) and thereby cover any organisational gaps, but how about some of you volunteering some ideas of not-too-hard-to-arrange things to do, or even just a checklist of stuff for me to go through.

Yes, I know it’s my birthday, but I would rather like people to enjoy the party too, in between bouts of telling me how young, talented and gorgeous I still am... ahem...

Monday, October 16, 2006


Just a short note to let you all know that Seriakh is now waiting with open legs for your reading pleasure.

Or something... It's just a piece of fun for some of us to do the odd spot of venting. ;-)

We're currently holding open auditions for Worst Piece Of Crap Idea for a Show. Check it out...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Te Deum, or Tedium?

I make no apologies for the fact that this entry veers all over the place like a turbo-charged shopping trolley. Can't think why, but it all seemed to make sense when I was writing it...

Ohboyohboyohboy, I been watching some reeeeeeaaaaaal tasty telly of late.

Courtesy of Callaghan over at Creatively Progressing, I checked out Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip. Now, we all undoubtedly have fairly high expectations (quite rightly) of Mr & Mrs Sorkin's little boy Aaron, so I crossed my fingers and hoped that it would give me the same kind of "grin factor" feeling engendered when one stumbles across a particularly fine piece of work.

It did. I grinned like a dribbling buffoon who'd just been given a morphine enema.

I need to nail my colours to the mast here about telly/movies and the making thereof. For me, it's less important that something is "down to the dirt" factually accurate about its subject if that comes at the cost of it being good entertainment. If I wanted a true picture of forensic procedures, I'd watch a documentary, not CSI. The same goes for any dramatic endeavour. I'm here to be entertained, fercrissakes, not lectured about how much the author knows about a given subject. Whether that entertaining takes the form of an emotional journey into the bleak recesses of the protagonist's soul, or is just a bunch of edge-of-the-seat, action-packed, blow up every building bigger than a shed eye-candy isn't important.

I'm not saying that a writer or creator should abandon the idea of research and knowing the field in which the piece is set, just that it needs to be tempered with the view that the end result is a piece of entertainment.

Obviously, drama is a variable and movable feast for different people. Many erudite and eloquent screenwriters whose opinions I generally respect would rather challenge someone to a duel to the death than allow Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge to be included on a list of decent films, for example. Others will sweepingly rebuff anyone that tentatively offers anything that Hollywood has produced in the last hundred years as anything other than bilge.

We all know that this field is subjective. If we could have a machine you could plug a movie into and it would flash a light telling you it was either a masterpiece or a piece of shit, well, that would mean the same old thing being trotted out time and time again, because "it makes the machine show the Masterpiece light".

There isn't such a machine, which means that Marty Scorcese gets to make movies as well as Troma. And there are audiences for both. I've evangelised about the new Battlestar Galactica over here in the UK and let me tell you, it's a tough sell. "The old thing with the robots?" is generally what you hear, alongside "Oh no, I don't really watch any sci-fi". Admittedly, if you get to watch what the UK is currently selling by the pound under the banner of sci-fi (Doctor bleeding Who), then I too would opt out of seeing anything remotely similar on grounds of I might have to cut my own head off to escape infecting my eyes with it.

Hey, I didn't say we couldn't be opinionated, now did I? ;-)

Circuitously, this brings me around to the subject of Studio 60. A blank look generally greets the mention of the show (as it's not being shown here yet), so I mention Aaron Sorkin. A glimmer of recognition. "West Wing?" Ah yes, that gets their interest. Then you have to say, "It's like West Wing, but not about politics, though it's sort of about corporate politics and they run a TV show, not the country, and no, Martin Sheen's not in it as a stand-up comic". And you've lost 'em again.

Whether or not the artistry is perfect, or the characters are absolutely believable (Sarah Paulson is pushing it a bit as a comic actress for me) doesn't impact on the show being (for me) a very well crafted bit of television with a lot of rooom for growth and storylines. I don't care whether the writer's room's on SNL were exactly like that, this is a dramatisation, not a documentary.

And it's bloody entertaining.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The prettiest star

I had written a long eulogy to a talented friend who I recently lost, but I've just scrapped it.

I'd only be wallowing.

And you probably didn't know her.

Staying back in your memory
Are the movies in the past
How you moved is all it takes
To sing a song of when I loved
The Prettiest Star
- The Bowie.