Monday, 29 April 2013

Musical Monday #6

Boy, do I need this today.

Skid Row (Downtown) from Little Shop Of Horrors

Monday, 22 April 2013

Musical Monday #5

We all know that weather affects our moods.

Children go insane when they see snow.  The Housemate gets mad because snow is his nemesis. 


While I adore the creepy night sky when snow comes, because it is like an eternal twilight*.

* I hate that that word has been ruined.

The sun and blue skies make us beam.  A burst of sunlight through a cloud evokes the divine.  While an unrepentant beating sun is a symbol of death. 

Overcast skies make us frown and sap our energy but cloud shapes inspire the imagination.

Wind is ghostly and terrifying, sometimes actually becoming a destructive monster we can see.


Lightning is sexy and liberating, or ominous and horrifying.

Rain makes us sad, sometimes, but other times it’s glorious.  Tucked up cosy inside while a storm beats against the walls can be delicious. 

After the rain is over, children love to jump in puddles and spying a rainbow reduces us all to idyllic youthful zeal at the magic in the air.

I saw this on Thursday:



And sometimes, when I’m caught in the rain, I trudge, damp and despondent, just wanting to get home, my trousers sticking to my legs uncomfortably, water lashing against my face, stinging me, clogging my breathing, chilling me. 
But then I remember what you’re supposed to do in the rain, and I cheer right up.

Singin’ In The Rain from, uh, Singin' In The Rain

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Top Shelf Books #1 - The Church Mice by Graham Oakley

The first books to make it to my Top Shelf, where only the really good books go, are:

 

The Church Mice Books by Graham Oakley.


‘In a busy little town, not very far away, there is a church and in the church there lived a mouse whose name was Arthur.’
~ The Church Mouse by Graham Oakley.

Although The On-Going Quest to find out who are my favourite authors is on-going, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Graham Oakley easily makes The List.  (Click here to visit his site.)

He is by far my favourite author/illustrator for his masterful wit and artistry.

The Church Mice books are large picture books with incredibly intricately detailed drawings.  They follow the adventures of Arthur and Humphrey, leaders of the church mice, and the long suffering cat Sampson who has vowed not to eat them.

‘Sampson, the church cat, had listened to so many sermons about the meek being blessed and everybody really being brothers that he had grown quite frighteningly meek and treated Arthur just like a brother.’
~ The Church Mouse by Graham Oakley.

There are twelve Church Mice books altogether.  I have read six so far.

As a child, I read The Church Mouse (in which a lonely Arthur invites all the other mice in Wortlethorpe to live with him), 
‘A vote was taken on what kinds of cheese the parson should buy, and the result was: one hundred for Cheddar, ninety-nine for Cheshire, seventy for Wensleydale, fifty for Caerphilly, forty-two for something with holes in it that no one could pronounce, thirty for walnut whirls but that was discounted because the voters were under age, and one for Afghanistan goatsmilk cheese.  That was ignored because it was only the schoolmouse trying to be clever.’
~ The Church Mouse written and illustrated by Graham Oakley, 1972

The Church Mice At Bay (in which the new curate threatens the peaceful lives of the mice),
‘Humphrey said it was a pity he had never studied hypnotism because then he would have put the cats to sleep, and Arthur replied sarcastically that it was a pity he had never studied magic because then he could have made the cats disappear.  As it was, they would just have to stoop to trickery.’
~ The Church Mice At Bay written and illustrated by Graham Oakley, 1978

The Church Mice At Christmas (in which the mice try to raise money for a Christmas party),
‘The journey back to the vestry was dreadful.  Everyone was gloomy because of the failure of the expedition, and it didn’t help matters to have to listen to Humphrey explaining his new theory about how Christmas Day should change places with August Bank Holiday so that people wouldn’t have to tramp through the snow to do their Christmas shopping.’
~ The Church Mice At Christmas written and illustrated by Graham Oakley, 1980

and as a slightly older child, The Church Mice And The Ring (in which the mice try to find a home for a stray dog). 
‘All he needed was a dozen or so brave volunteers prepared to risk life and limb in a bold raid on a jeweller’s shop.
For once, all the mice went quiet.  So Sampson stepped in and said that anybody whose name began with an A or a B or a C could consider themselves volunteers and if they wanted to argue they knew where they could find him.
So late that night Arthur, Humphrey, Sampson and a sulky band of Anns, Alberts, Brendas, Brians, Clares, Cuthberts, etc., made their way through the deserted streets to the jeweller’s shop.’
~ The Church Mice And The Ring written and illustrated by Graham Oakley, 1992

As an adult, I have read The Church Cat Abroad (in which Sampson, Arthur and Humphrey attempt to become film stars and get stranded on a tropical island)
‘they explored the island in the hope of finding something useful.  And they did: a pile of cheese and sardine sandwiches and a short-sighted old gentleman.  They left the bread because it’s not nice to be greedy, and anyway they only liked bread if it had peanut butter on it.’
~ The Church Cat Abroad written and illustrated by Graham Oakley, 1973

and The Church Mice In Action (in which Sampson is forced to compete in cat shows). 

‘The mayor presented the prizes and he had intended to make another speech but he didn’t because the only words that came into his head were things like “devilish fiends”, “furies from Hell” and “ravaging beasts” and he didn’t really think that would make him very popular with cat-loving voters.’
~ The Church Mice In Action written and illustrated by Graham Oakley, 1982
(EDIT: I have now also found The Church Mice And The Moon and been presented with The Church Mice Adrift, The Church Mice Spread Their Wings and The Diary Of A Church Mouse!  See here and here and here.)

I will always be fonder of the ones I grew up with, but I shall continue to seek out the rest of the series because they are fantastic.

I do believe these could be The Greatest Children’s Books ever written.  Not that they are just for children.  There’s plenty there for adults.  These are sophisticatedly silly works, that I loved then and love now.

The Humour is deliciously dry, a mixture of satire, slapstick, understatement, irony and juxtaposition.  As well as expanding on the text (which often uses understatement to make the joke), the pictures often contradict what the text has just told us or vice versa (creating a sort of ironic juxtaposition), so there’s a lot to be gained from both the illustration and the writing.  It really makes The Whole Experience incredibly rewarding and devilishly funny.  This is what I mean by sophisticated.  When I was a kid, the humour of these books was so much smarter than anything else I was reading, even when the humour was about something very silly, and these mice are very silly.

And I really do love The Drawings (click here to see some).  I’ve never found anything as good.  I’ve never been overly fond of illustration in books, as a child it so often seemed to be gilding the lily, but Oakley’s pictures really enhance the stories in ways I’ve never seen before and they’re extremely humorous.  But they’re beautiful just to stand back from too.  You could have these things framed and decorate your walls with them.  The style is fairly realistic, the mice pleasingly anthropomorphised so that you still believe they are real mice even though they walk on two feet and have human mannerisms.  And each picture is so intricately, carefully detailed that I spent hours lost in them as a child.  You can look as these pictures and keep discovering something new.  They encourage you to come back.  There are background jokes to discover and one of my favourite things, all the mice look the same but when they gather in a group they’re all doing something different.  It’s huge fun to pore over these ‘crowd’ scenes.  I particularly love the baby mice who are often tantruming or happily throwing themselves into dangerous situations, chased by horrified parents.  You really get the impression that despite the mice looking identical and mostly not being named, that they each have individual thoughts and feelings and are experiencing different things.  Oakley’s pictures are works of art and they are funny.  I can’t imagine The Childhood without them. 

As I’ve expressed in a previous post, these books where influential to me, not only by developing my sense of wit at a very young age (not to mention the presence of a cat who sees mice as brothers rather than food informing my own attitude towards animals), but by showing me that every character, no matter how insignificant, has their own life.  These books changed my perception of story telling because it eradicates the idea of a black and white universe.  Every character does things for a reason. 

Also, the universe of the books is just pleasing.  The setting has a charm that is quaintly familiar and comforting, while the satire is always there, such as despite the people of Wortlethorpe’s pride in the church, the leaking vestry roof never gets fixed because people just don’t care if it doesn’t inconvenience them, or the dramatic hyperbole in the newspapers and all the litter that is thrown over the wall at night (perhaps including a newspaper celebrating the end of the litter problem).

‘It was a nice day, so Humphrey was taking the opportunity to point out to everybody the hole in the ozone layer.  But since holes in nothingness aren’t all that interesting to look at, when Sampson hove into view most of the mice rushed off and shouted rude remarks at him just to liven things up a bit.’
~ The Church Mice And The Ring by Graham Oakley.

Even the title page and the ‘The End’ page have little illustrations of the mice playing about, so pretty much every page from cover to cover of these books is something to get excited about.

I’m not great at explaining why I like something or why something is good, but Graham Oakley’s Church Mice books are just wonderful in so many ways and on so many levels.  These books are a lifelong reward, if you can find them.

I currently own:
The Church Mouse
The Church Cat Abroad
The Church Mice And The Moon
The Church Mice Spread Their Wings
The Church Mice Adrift
The Church Mice At Bay
The Church Mice At Christmas
The Church Mice In Action
The Diary Of A Church Mouse
The Church Mice And The Ring

I still need to get:
Humphrey Hits The Jackpot
The Church Mice Take A Break 

Top Shelf Books

Quite a while back, I decided to read all The Books on The Bookshelf.  A strange idea that had never occurred to me before.

I have arranged books roughly (the really tall books mess this up) so that the ones I haven’t read at all go at The Bottom, the ones I’ve either only read once or haven’t read in years go in The Middle, and the ones I’ve read at least twice in recent memory and still enjoyed go at The Top.  All the ones that I don’t really enjoy get sold or given to charity.  The Aim is to eventually only have Top Shelf Books (by which I mean I want all The Books I own to be good enough for The Top Shelf, not that I only want one shelf of books).

It’s a slow process, because firstly I’m not a very fast reader, secondly I usually read before bed but that’s when The Housemate and I watch films or TV so sometimes I’m too tired, thirdly the middle stage means I have to read a book more than once before it gets to reach The Coveted Top Shelf Spot and I have to leave a decent amount of time between readings, fourthly since The Lodger moved into The Living Room I have rediscovered The Library so am spending even less time reading books I actually own and fifthly* when I start on a book I don’t really enjoy, instead of giving up and moving on, I linger and get bored and then end up not reading anything at all.

* this word is too similar to filthy.

Anyway, I’ve decided that since this process may take forever (since I do get new books sometimes) that I had better start blogging about The Books that do make it to The Top Shelf as they get there.

So The Very Next Post will be the first in the series of  ‘Top Shelf Books’ posts.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Regular

While researching my WWII novel, Working Title: The Road To Confidence, I came across advice from the radio doctor of the 1940s.

And he said one should go to the toilet at the same time every day, even if one doesn’t need to go.  Because being regular is healthy.

Presumably the idea behind this is that after a few days, the body becomes conditioned, Pavlov's dogs style, and expects to go at these times.

But isn’t there a down side to being that regular?

Like, what happens if you’re out at the time?


Friday, 19 April 2013

Jonathanathon

First of all, a warning: if you haven’t watched all of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, here be spoilers, but since that show finished 10 years ago, where The Hell have you been?

Second of all, I apologise if I get at all dogmatic in The Following Post.

So…

There was a hashtag trending on twitter The Other Day (this may have been weeks or months ago, I have no concept of time) about fictional deaths we can’t get over.

It got me thinking, because stuff happens in TV, film, stage and books all the time that bugs me, so I expected a slew of outrage to rush forth from The Memory to The Fingers.

I’ve been driven nuts by characters being written out of TV shows, and by bad adaptations that have somehow become popular films and musicals and I’ve given up reading many an annoying or boring book.  But as furious as all this fiction has made me


none of this is caused by The Death of The Wrong Fictional Character.  And even when I have come across deaths I didn’t think needed to happen, deaths that spoiled The Whole Story, I still didn’t care enough for it to be something I’ll never get over.  They’re not events that bother me when I’m not actively discussing their stories.

Except one.

There is only one fictional character whose death bothers me outside of watching the actual thing in which they died.  But this one little death sits around in the back of The Brain at all times.  It wormed its way in and it is always there.  This qualifies as a ‘never get over’.  So I tweeted it.


I was temporarily gratified when complete strangers retweeted this.
However it turns out that these particular strangers were tweeting and retweeting ALL tweets that mentioned deaths from BTVS, including: Jenny Calendar, Angel at the end of season 2, Joyce Summers, Buffy at the end of season 5, Tara and Anya.

They also mentioned Cordelia Chase’s death in Angel (but strangely no other deaths from Angel*) but as far as I am blissfully concerned, Cordelia’s death never happened anyway, because I stopped watching Angel after season 2.  This is because I already learnt The Lesson with Buffy The Vampire Slayer.


I enjoy seasons 1-3 fine, but I wish I could go back in time and stop myself from ever watching seasons 4-7. 


So after I loved Angel season 1 way more than I ever liked any of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and then saw the quality slide inexorably down during season 2, I stopped myself while I was ahead and I’m not going to ruin one perfect season by watching the rest of a mangy run.  BTVS seasons 1-3 and Angel season 1, that’s all that exists to me from that universe.  (Like there’re only two series of Due South and Jonathan Creek and only one of Heroes and don’t even get me started on Doctor Who.)  (Oh, and by ‘quality’ I really mean ‘change in style’.  If I like The Premise of a programme, I’m not going to like the programme any more when it goes through major setting, priority or cast changes.)

*How could they not mention Doyle?  Okay, so the hashtag was ‘never get over’, which would imply some level of psychological scarring and I think Doyle’s death was The Only Death In That Entire Universe that was well handled.  It was tragic, by which I mean inevitable, it was the crux of his character arc, everything had led to this moment, he chose to sacrifice himself to save others so it was ‘worthwhile’ not to mention redemptive and the other characters genuinely mourned his death and had to deal with it afterwards.  It was a well-written death, something I have not often come across.  I liked Doyle and I missed him afterwards, but I wouldn’t want the death to be erased, because it worked, so it doesn’t count as ‘never got over’.  Even if it did nearly make me puke from crying so much.

It’s funny how different things affect different people.


Okay, interesting.


Okay, okay, it’s just an observation.  Different things affect different people.


So anyway…

Those six deaths mentioned above will apparently haunt these tweeters for the rest of their lives, so deeply did these moments of fiction affect them.  And I asked people I actually know how they felt too.  They told me that Jenny’s death was sad, Angel’s was poignant, bittersweet, pulled heartstrings, taught us love cannot conquer all and about the loneliness Buffy must endure as the Slayer, Joyce’s was vivid, brutally effective, heartbreaking, hurt to watch and forever left a hole in the BTVS universe, Buffy’s was beautiful, gutsy and heart wrenching, Tara’s was very sad, a tragedy, the greatest gut-wrencher of the later series and a loss that shook the foundations of the characters’ core beliefs and Anya’s was upsetting.

But those deaths didn’t particularly bother me.

In fact, here are my reactions.

Season 2: Jenny Calendar is killed. 

Season 2 finale: Angel is ‘killed’. 

Season 5: Joyce Summers dies.
Season 5 finale: Buffy sacrifices herself. 
Season 6: Tara is killed. 
Season 7 finale: Anya is killed. 

Whereas Jonathan’s death early in season 7, a minor death of a minor character that’s thrown away and goes barely noticed by anyone, got this reaction from me:


Why, out of all the deaths in the programme, is this the one that gets to me?

I guess it annoyed me because it was so pointless.  People die all the time in the programme, it is about the undead, but there’s usually some reason behind it.  And those main deaths above… Jenny died to show how bad Angel was – necessary.  Angel died because it was a cool dramatic irony ending.  Joyce died because they wanted to completely ruin the programme show a realistic death and how abrupt it can be.  Buffy died because the programme was supposed to be over and how else do you end a programme about a character who’s always going on about her short life expectancy.  Tara was killed to make Willow go evil, because having a good guy go evil was such an original plot and not something that had been two season arcs already.  Anya died because… it was the finale, someone had to go to show it was actually a big deal, it couldn’t be one of the original four so she’s the only other one who has been in it long enough to make it feel like a shock, even if she was just a poor Cordelia-replacement.

But Jonathan’s death didn’t do anything.  Possibly made Andrew turn good.  But, seriously, Andrew?  Why’s that a thing I need to see?  I detested Andrew.  I guess it’s just another one of those role reversal things the programme does every thirty seconds.  Who do you expect to survive, the character that’s been around since Inca Mummy Girl or this other guy we just made up?  BURN!  You were WRONG.

But then, I don’t feel annoyed.  I feel hurt.

I don’t even like the programme that much.  I wouldn’t even put seasons 1-3, the seasons I like, in a list of The Favourite TV.  So what the hell do I care what happened in the far off season 7?  In Heroes, it bugs me that Nathan was killed off, but since I had stopped watching it before then, it doesn’t matter.  I don’t own that DVD, so as far as I care, in the dimension of the programme I watch, it doesn’t happen, just like with Cordelia in Angel.  So same with Jonathan in BTVS.  I only have seasons 1, 2 and 3.  I never have to see season 7 ever again.  And yet that doesn’t make any difference.  I think Principal Snyder is one of the best things about Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but does the fact that he gets killed in Graduation Day Part Two ever keep me awake at night?  Nope.  But just knowing that Jonathan dies, even in a season four times removed from the last part of the programme I liked, is enough to upset me.

What is it about this particular character in this particular TV programme out of all the characters in all of fiction that resonates with me?

I don’t know, because if I knew, I might be able to turn it off and I’ve never been able to yet.

I have some theories:

1. Although Buffy The Vampire Slayer is not one of The Favourite Programmes, it has been influential in The Life. 

It was a big deal when I was a teenager because it was new and it was about teenagers.  Unless you wanted to watch Dawson’s Creek (I didn’t) there wasn’t much else out there.

But it was one of those love or hate things, and I found myself stranded between two sides without knowing which to pick.  People who loved it did because either they thought the fight scenes were cool or because they fancied Sarah or David.  They didn’t like it for its wit, which is bizarre because that’s its main asset.  I only liked the wittiness, and completely floundered in conversations with anyone about it, because all they discussed was demon slaying moves or hot shirtlessness and would actually fast-forward the witty dialogue sections.  So I veered towards the hated it group, except they hated it for being childish and embarrassing, again totally missing that (in places at least) it’s very sharp, but then we teenagers often mistook fun for embarrassment because we were too busy pretending to be grown up to actually enjoy ourselves.  So for many years I was completely unable to really enjoy a silly TV programme because of the baffling interplay of playground politics.

I also had a major league crush on Giles, which completely influenced and dictated which boys I was attracted to when dating became the only thing any of us were interested in.

And the programme became an important staple in The Relationship with one of The Best Friends and a sort of escape for both of us, it was an excuse to just have fun and not worry about all the growing up issues that we were both dealing with at the time and in a way it still represents that freedom now.

2. I like the character of Jonathan. 

He’s funny and he’s sweet (plus I totally dig short guys).  I like him so much that a while back (I have no idea how long ago, NO CONCEPT OF TIME) I decided I wanted to have a Jonathanathon.
By which I mean I found a person who owned all of Buffy The Vampire Slayer…
(This is supposed to represent that classic horror scene in which Character A opens cupboard door, and when they shut it a second later, Character B is RIGHT THERE, but I can't draw so it doesn't really work.)
…and picked out all the episodes in which Jonathan appears.

In case you were wondering, that’s: Inca Mummy Girl, Reptile Boy, What’s My Line Part Two, Bad Eggs, Passion, Go Fish, Dead Man’s Party, Homecoming, The Wish, Earshot, The Prom, Graduation Day Part Two, Superstar, Flooded, Life Serial, Smashed, Gone, Dead Things, Normal Again, Entropy, Seeing Red, Villains, Two To Go, Grave, Conversations With Dead People, Never Leave Me, First Date and Storyteller.

The trouble was in which order to watch them.  Because it you watch it in chronological order, it kinda gets depressing.  It’s a careful balance because you don’t want to have too many of the nastier later episodes in row because it’d be too much of a downer and you certainly don’t want to end with something like Conversations With Dead People, in which Jonathan gets murdered, but you can’t have too many of the brief one-line blink-and-you-miss-him earlier episodes next to each other because you’d forget you were even having a marathon and it’d be a disaster if you ended on The Wish in which he doesn’t even speak.  The earlier episodes do lend themselves to the ‘who can spot him first’ game though. 

In the end our marathon went in a completely bizarre order, I don’t think there was any logic to it at all.  But the last two episodes we watched were Earshot, which is one of my favourite episodes of BTVS, ever, and Superstar, because how could it not be the finale of a Jonathan Marathon?

3. Jonathan becoming a bigger character in season 6, in fact the whole lame villain gag, is a really cool idea.

My favourite character in BTVS, by miles, is Giles
When I was a teenager and was forced to watch the programme by other teenagers, it was Giles who saved the scenes for me, the way he would just pop Buffy or Xander’s arrogant, pointless teen pondering was the exact tonic I needed when surrounded by a lot of arrogant teen pondering. 

My second favourite character is Oz and his romance with Willow is up there with Niles and Daphne for fictional romances that are beautifully, perfectly played. 

So I suppose by season 6, with neither Giles or Oz in the programme any more, bringing Jonathan back as a semi-regular was one of the few things they could have done that actually got me a bit interested again.

4. Superstar.

I didn’t watch BTVS by choice when it was new, due to above mentioned playground politics.  I avoided it when I was at home alone.  But one day I decided that I might as well give it a go.  So I turned on the latest episode and sat down to try to enjoy it and I was utterly baffled

because it was Superstar.

So for half an hour at least, that universe, the Jonathan universe, was the norm to me.  And in a way, I feel I’ve always been part of that universe ever since, rather than the one everyone else was watching.

5.      Empathy.

I was a social reject at school.  Not to the extent of Jonathan.  I was more on a Willow level.  Because I did actually have some friends.  And there were a few kids on the lower tier, the Jonathans, and we on the tier above would have to talk to them because we were nice and no one else would.

But I found school really difficult.  So I empathise with Jonathan.  I never ended up trying to shoot myself, but only because I didn’t know where to get a gun.

6. I have a tendency to irrationally like any character who is ignored, misunderstood or pushed aside by other characters, particularly if they are at all downtrodden or pathetic, no matter whether the character actually does anything to earn this admiration. 

I think this is partly because of The Crappy Childhood again and partly because these characters have the kind of promise The Imagination can work with (the same way I read catalogues as a child because I used the pictures as a basis to imagine great stories no one else could see) and partly because these characters often actually are more interesting than those in centre stage.

Jonathan is like the ultimate ignored character.  He’s ignored character bingo.

He starts out as a minor character, not even credited with a name at first, sometimes without even getting a line, before attempting to kill himself in his tenth episode with a rifle because everyone ignores him.  Buffy somehow stops this by telling him everyone feels like that.  She’s actually pretty harsh because she thinks he’s there to take out the school and on realising he’s suicidal, what does she do?  Who knows.  The scene cuts to get on with the whodunnit plot.  That’s the last we see of Jonathan this week.  Did she just leave him up there with the gun?  In season 4, he clearly hasn’t resolved his issues, doing a spell to get attention just because he wants friends.  Buffy tells him off again.  These are huge cries for help, but nope, he’s punished and that’s the last we see of him, so he’s presumably on his own somewhere, with these loneliness and self-esteem issues just spiralling out of control.  Then he’s back in season 6, having fallen in with the really wrong crowd (and they don’t even like him), and things get worse and worse and worse, until his murder in season 7 and that’s it?  What was the point of setting up this character for this many years just to blam, he’s gone and some other guy gets the regular spot?





So maybe when all six of these points align, they create something potent, meaning that this disagreeable little moment in fiction is something that’s going to stay with me for the rest of The Life, and make every single day just a little bit more miserable.






7. I don’t feel that this character achieved his potential and, as a writer especially, that depresses me. 

I know that in a way he did, because he was always there to be the brunt of jokes, to be the kid bad stuff happens to, and the idea that just as he comes to terms with his own issues, he gets killed, well, it’s very Jonathan.  But it was a small throw-away part of the programme.

Jonathan: “Time goes by, and everything drops away.  All the cruelty, all the pain, all that humiliation.  It all washes away.  I miss my friends.  I miss my enemies.  I miss the people I talked to every day.  I miss the people who never knew I existed.  I miss them all.  I want to talk to them, you know.  I want to find out how they’re doing.  I want to know what’s going on in their lives.”
Andrew: “You know what?  They don’t wanna talk to you, all those people you just mentioned.  Not one of them is sitting around going, ‘I wonder what Jonathan’s up to right now.’  Not one of them cares about you.”
Jonathan: “Well, I still care about them.  That’s why I’m here.”
~ Conversations With Dead People, BTVS season 7.

He deserved better.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Musical Monday #4

It's Musical Monday time again and today's little piece of cheer comes from Guys And Dolls, a musical I don't know whether I like or not.

I first saw Guys And Dolls performed by Portsmouth Grammar School and it was hilarious.

Then I got The 1992 Broadway Cast Recording and was surprised to find it was a lot less hilarious than I was expecting, so I figured that it must have been The Dialogue that was funny rather than The Songs.

At some point before or after then (who remembers) I read a bunch of Damon Runyon's short stories and was right back in The Hilarious Camp again.

Then I saw the film of Guys And Dolls and was a bit disappointed.

Then I watched On The Waterfront and was really impressed with Marlon Brando so I watched the film of Guys And Dolls again and this time found it pretty hilarious, although I could quite happily see The Songs cut and the film would probably be the better for it.

So it might seem odd that I've chosen a musical number from Guys And Dolls as The Fourth Musical Monday, but this particular scene has a romantic character being incredibly annoying and that sure cheers me up.

If I Were A Bell from Guys And Dolls

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My Mii Addiction

Due to The Lodger in The Living Room, I have recently had to move all my stuff into my bedroom.  As such I have just connected The Wii up to The Television on The Desk and opened up a whole new area of procrastination.

But it gets worse.

I had too many miis already.  Apart from The Me-Mii, I had

Hugh Mann:

An alien posing completely convincingly as a human being
Cary:
Because when The Housemate and I first met we had a bizarre running in-joke about Cary Elwes
Crow:

Based on a character from one of my stories, because I HAVE NO LIFE.
Dork:

Also based on a character from one of my stories.
Martha:

From when Doctor Who Series 3 was on TV and I was obsessed with Martha Jones for some reason.
Sylar:

From when Heroes Series 1 was on TV (so back when I liked it).
The Doctor:

From when Doctor Who Series 5 was on TV (back when I briefly liked Doctor Who).

But I visited The Brother and The Sister-In-Law and The Niece and The Nephew on The Weekend and happened to see a freaky-looking mii on their wii.  The Brother explained this was a mii he had downloaded and that it was impossible to make.

So I went home and decided to see if I could make one.

And I did.

TV Face:


I then made a mii that looked like another of The Downloaded Miis The Brother had shown me.

Sadpants:


Then I decided to see what I could make myself from The Imagination, now that I was getting to grips with The Challenge of mii-making.

Kitty:

Cyclops:

Wario:

The most pointless mii yet, because if I wanted to play as Wario (and I always do, baby) I’d use the real Wario.
Spider:


Then I had a look at some of the amazing miis other people had made and saw a few that made me laugh, so I tried to make my own miis that looked similar.

Dr Mental:

Skull Face:

Shawn:

Bane:

Sid:


I’m addicted.  I haven’t gone a single day since The Weekend without making a new mii.  Mostly between The Hours Of Midnight And 3 A.M.

And finally, I decided to update The Me-Mii to look more like The Hill:



Help Mii.