Monday, January 24, 2011

Box Clever

I lied about not talking about my health yesterday. This morning I sort of managed to get out of bed in agony. The pulled muscle was bad enough, but my back is screaming at me like an Edvard Munch painting, my shoulder, which I've been neglecting to talk about, is raging (I did mention a long time ago that I was going to get calcification in my left shoulder as a result of my 2009 operation; well it's happened and it's just as bad as the last time it happened, when it was a result of the damage I'd done to the soft tissue because of the impingement...) and my leg just doesn't work very well. I feel as bad today as I did a couple of months ago; even the painkillers are proving to be pointless.

And speaking of the frigging painkillers. I'm 48. I shall be 49 in a couple of months and, as much as it pains me to say, I shall be 50 next year. I have had more spots in the last 3 months than I have since I was 18. The latest one looks as though I'm growing a new head out of one of my cheekbones. If I'm going to suffer from adolescent crap like this then I want to look 30 years younger and have nubile 18 year old girlies throwing themselves at me. Oh yeah, that isn't going to happen...

I fucking hate this with a passion!


Finally watched all of Skins USA last night and have deemed it to be a load of shit. What with the UK version back next week, I can safely do without this kind of pathetic bollocks cluttering up my hard drive. Shameless USA is the only one of the US remakes that has anything remotely going for it and even that only works because it's a carbon copy of a once brilliant socio-drama.

We also watched The Vanishing on 7th Avenue last night; despite it being given a dreadful review. By the end we realised why it had got such a bad review. Like The Mist and Skyline it doesn't have a happy ending and Yanks hate it when they lose. I read some of the IMDB reviews after I watched the film, which incidentally is as creepy a film as I've seen for a long time, and couldn't believe I'd watched the same film as the reviewers. I have quite a few American friends, but the vast majority of Statesiders seem to want everything carefully explained and everything to end with a happy and conclusive ending; this film doesn't even remotely try to answer any questions and concentrates on just 4 survivors of a strange event. The worst thing about the film was that it proved without reasonable doubt that Hayden Christensen or Annakin Skywalker cannot act to save his life; fortunately John Leguizamo, Thandie Newton and young Jacob Latimore more than make up for it. Don't be put off by the IMDB reviews as I'm pretty sure that some of them were written by people who didn't even watch the film.

Tonight saw the return of two favourites in Chez Hall - Top Gear and the fabulous Being Human. Top Gear was something of a vast improvement on the entire last series that seemed to lack something previous series' had. Essentially this is Boys' Own TV which just happens to be loved by as many women as blokes. What they find attractive about Clarkson, May and Hammond can make all of us men over 45 feel like we might still have it.

Being Human returned and it was wonderful. Toby Whithouse is a genius and it was like having old friends back in the living room. It is a truly fantastic programme with believably unbelievable characters, who are beautifully flawed. It also appears to now have a (bigger) budget and sets the scene nicely for the next 5 episodes that promise to take the series considerably deeper than ever before. Mitchell is brilliant; George is full of fantastic human touches, Nina is really becoming part of the 'team' and Annie was... well Annie and it was very emotionally charged to have her back, as the last few minutes showed. The new setting, the different characters and the even blacker comedy all look set to make this BBC3's biggest success story by a country mile. If you haven't seen it, then you should treat yourself.


Every so often, I write something and then wonder if I should publish it. I normally run it past someone like Roger first and he advises me not to. However, it's almost midnight and I've been quite prolific this evening with my typing fingers...

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my exploits at the YMCA. It was an event in my life that has several of my friends involved in; or in other words, it isn't the kind of thing that I'd make up or embellish because there are too many people who know the truth and I would expect my friends to pull me up if I say something inappropriate or an exaggeration. The morning after the YMCA story appeared, one of my oldest friends had posted something in the comments section that suggested the entire thing was fictional. Normally, I would have just ignored it, but as the person who said this was the former partner of the girl who died in 2009 and was largely responsible for me being in the career I'm now in, I took a massive exception to it and told him so. The person who questioned the factual legitimacy used to be my best friend. He is also responsible for me being ostracised by a large group of my friends during the late 1980s, because he refused to corroborate something he heard because he felt it would be wrong to divide his loyalties. I struggled to forgive him of that for many years, believing he was defending a liar over a person who had done many many things for him during our friendship.

The problem with this person is that he's now a virtual alcoholic. When I approached him about his remarks, I had already deleted his comment and he claimed he couldn't even remember writing anything let alone reading the blog entry. I copied his comment into a reply and explained to him, as he was being apologetic but vague, that it was just plain unhelpful to make spurious comments, especially when something can be corroborated by a number of people and that, I thought, was the end of that.

Last Thursday night, while having a beer with Roger, he said that a former friend of mine, who no longer likes me because I apparently don't give a shit about anyone but myself, had told him about the altercation, claiming that I had emailed my old friend out of the blue making unfounded accusations and being completely out of order. At the time, I just shrugged it off, thinking that it was pretty typical of my old friend; but as the weekend wore on it started to get under my skin. As I said, I've forgiven this guy for a lot over the years; I've defended him, helped him out, been there and done a lot for him and stayed friends with him despite his overwhelming ability to be incredibly selfish and uncharitable. I suppose tonight I ran out of patience. I think I just finally got fed up with being accused of things I'm not. Fed up of having my word questioned. Yes, I'm a story teller, therefore I embellish stuff; but I try to keep my experiences as close to what happened as possible and yet I find myself constantly having to justify myself to twats like this guy and I've had enough of it.

He is the last remaining vestige of an old life, one that I haven't missed, so I suppose I won't miss him now...

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