November 8, 2009


Finally got round to listening to episode 7 of Boys for Noise, the excellent podcast by Ingmar and Billy, two gay guys from Melbourne who “are into music, art, movies, popular culture and all that stuff. And they like to go on about it. And they like to listen to each other go on about it. Now you can too!”

Don’t be put off by the highbrow sounding list of topics, we’re talking Beyonce and Project Runway here. And with the mysterious Debbie replenishing their wine glasses as they rabbit on, it’s all most entertaining.

Anyhoo, in episode 7, both Gym Class and Wordage get a namecheck. And whereas I’ve always thought of the last syllable of Wordage as being like the last syllable of porridge, they give me an undeserved veneer of sophistication and glamour by making it like the last syllable of ‘Even Rocky had a montage’.

Before casually writing me off as being ‘too old for boyfriend material’.

Swings and roundabouts, as the saying has it.



August 23, 2009

About a year ago, I received an email from a poncey New York hotel chain alerting me to the news that one of their hotels had been “reimagined” by a designer with a European sounding name. Brilliant. How much classier it sounded than a mere redesign. And it wasn’t just the hotel people that were at it – movie folk soon realised that reimagining a film sounded less of a cop-out than just remaking it.

This year, that’s all changed. Film studios have ditched the flair of reimagination and are now “rebooting” film franchises instead. I quite like this too. “OK,” it seems to admit, “perhaps we went overboard with the tenth, eleventh and twelfth films in the series. But be assured that we have now realised the error of our ways, gone back to basics and actually put something like a proper plot in this one.”

And how do I know of this latest term? Because I managed to score a couple of last-minute tickets to Movie Con II, a somewhat unholy alliance between Empire and the BFI. Steven and I spent last weekend geeking out to film clips from a bunch of upcoming films as well as Q&As with some of the directors.

Normally, such an event would have me twittering, or tweeting if you prefer, like crazy. But because of an anti-piracy ban on phones, I found myself deprived of my addiction. So like a true addict, I found a way round it.

Welcome to the world of paper tweets. (Click to embiggen.)



June 23, 2008

Oh dear, haven’t got round to blogging in, like, fuh-ev-a, so after a scolding from Evol here I am. And to ease myself in, a “meme” that I got from Monty – not often I do a me-me-me these days, but I liked the random mixing of words – you put your iTunes on shuffle, and use the song titles to answer a bunch of questions.

What does next year have in store for me? A Little Bit of Soap
What’s my love life like? All Apologies
What do I say when life gets hard? Roadblock
What do I think of on waking up? Waiting for the moon to rise
What song will I dance to at my wedding? Melting Pot
What do I want as a career? Forget It
My favorite saying? Nothing Compares 2 U
Favorite place? Tonight Will Be Fine
What do I think of my parents? Keep On Running
What’s my porn star name? Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
Where would I go on a first date? Television
Drug of choice? Women’s Realm
Describe myself. Pink Moon
What is the thing I like doing most? Special Cases
What is my state of mind like at the moment? Ed is Dead
How will I die? My Interpretation

Some work better than others, but on the whole some pretty good combinations. Love life and career made me chortle. My only regret is that ‘Television’ didn’t crop up a question later…

For the record, the artists were De La Soul, Nirvana, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Belle & Sebastian, Booker T & The MG’s, St Germain, Jimmy Scott, Teddy Thompson, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Robyn Hitchcock, Belle & Sebastian, Nick Drake, Massive Attack, Pixies, Mika.

Try it!


May 14, 2008

When booking something online the other day, I was asked to select my title from the above list. And what a fabulous selection it contains. (And how curiously British.) There are a few oddities in it – doctors can have either male or female partners, but vicars have to have female ones – so I guess lesbian priests are OK, but straight female ones or gay male ones aren’t. A professor can’t have a male partner unless that partner is a doctor, while military folk have to stay resolutely single.

After careful study of the list, I choose ‘Contessa’, naturally.


April 20, 2008


If you’re on Twitter, check out tweetclouds (which I discovered via Russell Davies). It goes through all your tweets checking out which words you use, and then puts them all together in a “cloud”.

The more you use a word, the bigger it is. Sadly, my biggest word is “busy”.

I Can Has Cheezburger?

March 3, 2008

Now I realise I’m late to the party on this one, but I appear to have developed an unhealthy fascination with lolcats. For those unfamiliar with this murky world, it involves a photo of a cat with superimposed type representing what the cat is thinking. (And yes, it’s a combination of ‘Laugh Out Loud’ and ‘cat’.)

I know, it sounds rubbish – and lot of it is. But there’s something seriously addictive about it. A big part of it is the language used – a bizarre mash-up of baby-talk and the creative typing loved by the IM generation. ‘Your’ is always ‘ur’, ‘like’ is ‘liek’, the correct form of greeting is ‘O hai’, and as for the grammar – well, the biggest lolcats site is called ‘I Can Has Cheezburger?’ which kind of says it all.

Anil Dash makes the point that the language that’ s grown up around it is particularly interesting because it “has a fairly consistent grammar. I wasn’t sure this was true until I realized that it’s possible to get cat-speak wrong.” And somewhere in these unwritten grammatical rules lies the secret of its appeal – when I’m scrolling through pages of the stuff looking for my next hit, the ones that don’t have the right sort of language don’t appeal to me at all.

Try it for yourself. The best way in is to read this slide-show essay and to follow the links in it. You might find the lolcats a little twee, but I defy you to resist the lolrus – the ongoing saga of a walrus and his blue bucket. (I Has a Bucket. Noooo they be stealin’ my Bucket.) And the lolpresidents can be pretty funny too.

One final note. After hangin’ with the kitties, I clicked onto Evol Kween’s blog, to find a post containing the lolcat-sounding sentence “For realz.” Could such an ultra-groovy artist and horror fan have been seduced into this saccharine world?

I asked him. It turns out to be a hip-hop gangsta phrase. So maybe the cats are tougher than I thought.

Lord of the Flies

January 11, 2008

Oh my. I have just watched a time-lapse movie of the corpse of a piglet decomposing in a flurry of insects. Quite fascinating. The internet is a weird and varied place.

I found out about it on a writer’s website – she was recommending it to crime writers. I recommend it to the merely curious – or at least the curious with strong constitutions.

I won’t embed the thing but if you want to watch it, it’s here


January 8, 2008

If you’re on Twitter and you like a bit of word action, check out TwitterLit. Around twice a day you’ll be treated to the first line of a book. If you’re intrigued enough to find out what the book is, there’s a link to the relevant Amazon page. If you buy the book from Amazon, Debra gets a kickback but, hell, I reckon she’s earned it.

I’ve always loved the opening scenes of movies, the playful and sometimes meandering ways in which they introduce what’s to follow. Even if the rest of the movie doesn’t live up to it, a good beginning hooks you in and makes you tingle with the possibilities of what could happen in the next 90 minutes. TwitterLit makes you realise that it’s just the same with books. In the last week, we’ve had:

“From the snap of the ball to the snap of the first bone is closer to four seconds than to five”

“The greatest advice I’ve ever heard was in the women’s bathroom”

“They came for me in the nighttime, which is usually the way of it”

If you’re not on Twitter (and why not?), you can get TwitterLit via RSS (details here) and enjoy it with your regular dose of blogdom.


January 5, 2008

A word you only really hear a lot in January. My resolutions are to work more, write more and exercise more. But I’m thinking I’ll add a fourth – blog more. (Not hard, given my recent record!)