30 April 2008

Enthusiastic film reviews, for the time constrained

In Bruges

Son of Rambo(w)


Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Brand! Bad!


I want those hours back, Mr Leigh!

Battle Royal

The Nines

Anna M

The Orphanage
Terrifying! I might even see it!

The Other Boleyn Girl
Heavy handed, poorly scripted!

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Sexy, cool and sad! And kind of self-important!

Be Kind Rewind
No star for you!

29 April 2008

One for the bin

What a . . . um . . . trying time, to accomplish anything, aside from work and dinner and sleep. And I’m beginning to wonder if people here don’t pack overnight bags, because. Well, just look at them all. They are here when I leave, here when I get in, at their desks over lunch, like me, except working.

Because my creative brain has become flaccid like a, erm, pencil that has gone flaccid – yeah, like one of those rubbery pencils you get in a magician’s kit or maybe as a joke, where you shake it all around and it goes wobble wobble wobble. But doesn’t write particularly well?

Yes, so because of that, my thoughts often work from the outside in now, i.e. environment; me versus my environment; environment vis a vis the future; spiralling down towards tedious introspection, &ct. All of this takes longer than what I've got, currrently. When really, all I want to do is say something that isn’t about me.

I could have said something about Arnold Schwarzenegger in the starring role of Junior, but I sort of missed the boat on that one. The contest boat, with its skull-and-crossbones sail and broken oars and . . . ah forget it.

25 April 2008

By Friday life has killed me

All I’m trying to do is find a song with enough noise to drown out the eating sounds of my ex-line manager and maybe get five minutes to myself without having to build a moat around my desk.

Loads of things seem to be happening all at once, but then I take stock and realise that I’m just letting it all pile up in my head. Some things have already happened and some aren’t set to take place until the future, where we’ll all wear government-issued pollution suits and say things like “Let me put that into the *CPPT generator and see what it says.” I do seem to be solidly booked until 2230, if indeed I make it that far (Aubrey de Grey says I stand a pretty good chance, so.)

Today I was welcomed into the editorial team, which means that I now have access to all the people who will make my job less of a nightmare, and that my workload is about to go from unmanageable to out-of-control. Somehow this doesn’t faze me, likely because of a delayed reaction that will probably kick in once I finally realise that I am married and living in London.

Conscious Friday wrestles subconscious Friday to the ground and clubs her over the head with an empty beer bottle, which she didn’t drink, because she doesn’t drink anymore**

It seems my job has taken the top priority spot without my consent, sitting well below Bruce but somewhere above reality television and voiding my bladder. Would that I were paid enough to turn seemingly innocuous weekend behaviour into an idea for a homepage, or dream that the heads of digital were trying to accompany me to the bathroom, but you can’t put a price tag on work-related neurosis, and I feel like they are setting me up to either succeed beyond my wildest dreams or go up in a blaze of failure.

When all I wanted was a cushy job that would give me plenty of time to surf the internet and stare out the window.

How do these things happen?

*Cryoprotaphototransmutability – it doesn’t exist yet, but feel free to run with the idea, I won’t stop you. Or maybe I already have!

**Barring last night, but I was at a Q&A for a new Mike Leigh film and it seemed appropriate somehow. I’m sure the raving alcoholic they kicked out of the theatre mid-screening can back me up on that one.***

***Bruce knows that I would never talk about myself in the third person like that.

23 April 2008

Mistaken identity

If you thought you saw me on the South Bank in my makeshift Metro rain hat, Joanna Newsome ringing in my ears, I assure you it was a complete accident – an unfortunate collision of coincidences beyond my control.

People like me have no use for lunch hours, which I’m using precious time to convey.

People like me are hiding their adolescence-issued uniform beneath so many layers, it almost looks like dedication. You'd almost swear you knew me.

22 April 2008


Hmmm? No, we are not.

18 April 2008

x365: 22 of 365 - Pants

You were the only one who didn’t pull away from me when I got sick; I’ll always be grateful to you for that. You’re probably still better than me at paraphrasing.

Life-like, animated

The cat is back from her operation. ‘Being fixed’ they call it, because the cat returns minus the fortnightly caterwauling that once signified a frantic, reproductive need – problem solved.

Except that now she crouches tightly, sorely, her neck gingerly extended inside the Elizabethan collar, and what tiny spirit that once encouraged her to venture bravely forth from under the bed to watch birds and eat dry kibble did not wake with her from that chemical sleep.

She has me pegged correctly now; I’m the person that sometimes comes at her with hands that deliver her into the most frightening situations unimaginable. Here kitty kitty with a gentle, calling voice – what a hypocrite.

So I’ve been moving tenderly, uncertainly around the flat like it’s me who’s had the operation, because that’s what I do: I over-empathise with others. I’m particularly bad at it too, because I’m often left to guess at what it is I’ve found empathy with.

The more out-of-touch and unfeeling the object, the harder I’ll try – I’d cradle the cold, inflexible limbs of pointy-toed dolls in my youth, imagining that they felt the chill of night without their clothes, which I would have lost. Imagining my caring could make any difference to their suffering. That all you need is love.

If just one of them had ever returned that concern, I would've screamed my head off.

Somehow I’d overcomplicated leaving the house today, tasking myself with the impossible purchase of a specific bar of soap – soap that I’d used only once in a hotel in Brussels, and which has become practically extinct. Thankfully I caught on to this self-sabotage and forced myself to take a walk to Sainsbury’s, to buy normal soap along with some much-needed items (bread, coffee, toilet paper).

I wouldn’t say I was heartened, but I was surprised as usual to see so many people - people who want nothing more to do with the impassive faces they encounter in grocery stores and on the streets and in their lives than I do. And decaffeinated coffee was one whole pound more than regular.

The service industry in Great Britain is unfriendly and inefficient - even in Muswell Hill. At least the Germans have efficiency. Don’t they?

15 April 2008

I can't get no posting action

Ah the sordid French films you can talk someone into watching, if that someone misinterprets the definition of ‘titular.’ Walk, don’t run (you might trip over the oftentimes prone figure of its titular character), to your nearest torrents site for an illegal copy of Anna M. And then decide to do something else with those two hours instead.

I’ve been too scared to take a proper lunch hour for as long as it’s been since I last posted here (I think skinny jeans were still in fashion) but resentment trumps fear today, so here I am, with virtually nothing to report.

Our love for the new flat grows by the day, no surprises there. A friend of ours reported a Noel Fielding sighting at our local Sainsbury’s; another invited us to come round to play Scrabble with a rock star that lives in the neighbourhood. Both of which leave me feeling a bit ‘huh’ but not terribly ‘wow’ if you know what I mean. Do you know what I mean? Good, because I don’t have the time to explain where I’m at with celebrity.

The neighbourhood is full of grand old mansions once bought by individuals who could afford a mortgage but not the furnishings necessary to live in all parts of their home. Our flat occupies a small part of one such home, and though it isn’t very big, it’s no smaller than our last flat, and it’s well furnished. Mostly we sit around slack-jawed and congratulating ourselves on a good find (and pondering a gigantic poster of Peter Greenaway’s Drowning by Numbers, which isn’t the most soothing of imagery to have situated near the bed, I admit).

I was supposed to accompany Bruce on a work trip to Norway this coming weekend, but that fell through, so instead I am taking the opportunity to get some real writing done. I want to finish (start, really) a film paper that only needs to beat out two others in order to win a cash prize, for instance. Obviously I’m reserving the right to not tell you what the contest consists of, or how to enter.

And there are many other things I’d like to do to become better acquainted with my new area. Spaying a cat is not one of them, but I’m pushing that to the top of my list after the ridiculous night of sleep we just had. Great, and because I’ve been working steadily around the fringes of writing this post, my lunch hour is once again gonzo.

03 April 2008

Tippy tip tap

I would rather write one amazing post per month than a half-assed entry per day. But I don’t do that either, so.

Let’s see, where were we? Oh right. Last we spoke, I was on the brink of moving into our new flat, whilst becoming increasingly busy at work and trying to keep up with the merriment of some rather energetic out-of-towners, all of which culminated in a nasty flu that took the fun out of transition, leaving in its wake a sticky trail of pure, unadulterated s t r e s s.

My poor, dear love had to pack everything up for us while I coughed and snotted among what was left of our depleting home comforts. By the time I felt even a wee bit better, it was time for the final act of moving: The Feral Cat Corral

That was probably the most stressful bit, as it involved trapping them in a small space and then watching them fly up the bare walls in a desperate attempt to escape us. I suppose they thought we would kill them, I don’t know – I’ve never had anyone come at me with a pair of oven mitts and a towel. I’m sure it’s harrowing, especially when you’re the size of a bread box.

It took quite a few attempts before both cats were in the box, but we managed in the end! And then it was loading, driving across town, unloading and unpacking, which we accomplished in less than two days (unpacking took the most time, obviously).

And now we have the most amazing flat in London! If there’s a better one, you won’t find two happier people occupying it, and that’s a certainty.

You also won’t find a busier editor of on-the-web-line material, which is why this post is short, shabby and over far too soon for my liking.