Best Laid Plans...
Thursday was going to be simple. Get up, go shopping, meet One El for a much missed lunchtime imbibe, take the dogs out, cook dinner and chill. Sounded to me like a recipe for a good day. Then the first spanner appeared. "The double glazing repairman is coming in the morning," said the wife last night.
"Between 9 and 6."
"But I'm doing the shopping tomorrow!"
"Yeah, I know. You'll just have to fit it around somehow." Oh great...
The double glazing repairman arrived at 9.03, so that was one major concern dealt with easily and he had left by 9.20. He took his measurements and departed like the wind. I got myself ready - I had to stop off at the doctor's for a repeat prescription - and then the phone rang. It was my mate Tony, who just happens to live close to where I do the weekly shop.
"I think I've got you a copy of that film you wanted," he said, peaking my interest. I've been after a copy of Winter Kills for a couple of months and as it is out of print, the cheapest you can buy it is for about £25. It was one of my favourite films when I was younger and while it has a reputation and lots of apocryphal tales about it, I think it was a bonkers alternative reality version of the Kennedy assassination and worthy of a couple of hours of my time.
"I'm over your way in a while."
"Call in and pick it up. I'll put the kettle on." Sorted. Not only do I get a film I wanted but I get to have a cuppa with a mate I don't see often enough.
I stopped off at the doc's, got onto Kenmuir Avenue, heading towards Duston and when I got to the end of that road, as it joins onto a road called Fairway (cos it's next to a golf course), I looked right and saw a Volkswagen people carrier literally about 100 yards away. Now, I get cut up just about every day by people pulling out of turnings with sometimes as little as 10 feet to spare, so with 100 yards you'd think it was not only safe but pretty much the norm. The Volkswagen was so far away I could have driven a tank and he wouldn't, normally, have been restricted.
Within five seconds of pulling onto the road, I could see in my rear view mirror, the people carrier hurtling towards me and I was up to the 30mph speed limit by this time. Also in my mirror was the image of a man ranting, raving and calling me everything you can imagine using mime. I shrugged. What had I done wrong? Anyhow, he's up my arse like a randy gay man for the next mile or so; all the time gesticulating wildly at me; flashing his lights and I started to think that perhaps I was dragging a corpse behind me or he thought I was someone he knew (and presumably wanted to kill). We got to the Cock Hotel junction and I just caught the red light; he was behind me and I noticed his car door open and he started to get out. Uh-oh, thinks I. I'm not going to open my window and be punched by some eejit, so I undid my seat belt, put the car in neutral and got out myself.
"What the fuck do you think you were doing?" The balding man wearing a tracksuit yelled at me.
"What? What did I do?"
"You fucking cut me up!" He's now standing about 6 inches from my nose and his eyes are bulging.
"I did not cut you up. You were about 100 yards away from me."
"You fucking cut me up!" It was like he thought I hadn't heard him.
"How fast were you going?" He ignored me and started to tell me I'd cut him up again. "You were driving about 50 in a 30 zone, during Easter week when the kids are all on holiday. What if you'd hit someone?"
"You should be more observant." Suddenly his anger was disappearing.
"Look mate, I'm sorry if you're having a bad day, but don't act like a prick." I turned around, to a chorus of blaring horns - the lights had changed - got in my car and drove off.
Less than a minute later, he's up my arse again, looking like a prize twat before turning into King's Heath and giving me lights, horn and finger.
We live in such a pleasant world now.
A Lost 90 Minutes
The Darkest Hour - the crappiest 90 minutes you'll ever spend?
Watched this teen-biased SF action film last night. It started really well and during the first 20 minutes you got the impression that apart from it starring no one you've heard of, it had potential. Even when the aliens appeared, you thought, 'hmm, this looks interesting.' Then something changed. It was like the writer's 6 year old brother took over scripting duties and the relatively competent actors all forgot how to act. By the end of the film, I was wondering why I even bother downloading half the shit I do.
Having worked in the entertainment industry (of sorts) you get a basic understanding of the possible and the highly unlikely. If I was told that Superman and Spider-Man would team up, I knew that even if it hadn't happened before, it is a likely scenario because comics companies, despite being fiercely competitive, do that kind of thing to stimulate sales. Equally, whenever people talk about a Superman/Batman: World's Finest film, I baulk at the idea because despite both characters being owned by DC, the film rights are owned by different companies and there's all kinds of legal bullshit making it as unlikely to happen now as when the first time the rumour was started.
The Aliens versus Predator movies took far more backroom squabbling than you would imagine and there are some franchises that you just would never see teaming up, despite the amount of Freddie v Jason films or whatever. So imagine my amusement when a website I use to satisfy my inner geek speculated that Dr Who was going to meet the Borg...
To be fair, Den of Geek often out-geeks its rivals by having articles and stuff about all manner of cult and marginally watched genre things. I read their reviews of programmes and wonder if their reviewers would know how to be critical even if they were bitten by a real critic. Most of the site's output is either sycophantic bollocks, obviously written with possible advertising incentives, or article dissecting what a strange symbol on a movie poster might represent. They make big news out of nothing.
The first trailer for the autumn's new DW series was really big news and the geeks were out in full force, pouring over each second of the trailer trying to find some clues. Now, I'm sure producers know this now so they put lots of ambiguous stuff in it just to spark a reaction, but the suggestion by some of comments that not only was the cyborg character reminiscent of the Star Trek arch villains The Borg, but one of the people in a crowd scene had Chakotay's facial tattoos, suggesting this particular episode could be a Star Trek crossover.
Do me a favour? Stop it now. The chances of this happening are pretty slim - like in tracing paper thin, especially given Star Trek's owners reluctance to do anything with any of its characters unless it's been through 18 months worth of committees and they've held a seance to talk to Gene Roddenberry. The chances of this being anything other than a coincidence at best is remote.
Film Shop Home
So, I got round my mate Tony's; had a coffee and a chinwag, left his place about 11.45 and got to Sainsbury's, which was like Christmas Eve. For God's sake, the shops are closed for about 30 hours in total, but you'd think people had to go and horde in case the world ends on Easter Monday. The place was heaving and it wasn't helped by people just wandering around open mouthed, gawping and yawping at nothing in particular.
I spent £30 and it took me almost the entire length of that shit film I watched last night to get round and out. 45 minutes shopping and 40 minutes queuing. It was a nightmare made worse by the chatty assistant at the checkout who seemed to think she was as much a friend as a conduit for payment.
Finally got home about 1.45; already 45 minutes late for my beer with One El, but deciding that I had far too much still to do to take the luxury of a beer into consideration. So I got the hoover out and tidied up the lounge. Got my coat and found the DVD burn of Winter Kills on it and thought, 'ooh, let's see if it's DVD quality', put it in the DVD player and was presented with an option to play the film The Lion in Winter... A late 60s film with Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Anthony Hopkins and a lot of young British actors. Not the film I thought I was getting...
Where I walk the dogs has been pretty inspirational over the years and especially so this last year. What with the old Express Lift tower in the distance offering up scenes from Mordor and some other landscapes that could come out of some fantasy or another.
Having never managed to finish the Lord of the Rings books and being utterly demoralised and disappointed by The Dark Tower series, I finally had an idea the other day for a short story about a tower. It isn't part of the themed short stories I've been writing and working on throughout last summer, but it is in some ways along the same lines. It is called The Tower Pilgrimage and it's not going to be long and it's about half finished.
It's set in the future, about 400 years, and history is only taught to children once they pass the age of 13; the history of their world is hidden from them until they go on a pilgrimage, with an old teacher, and learn the truth about the past. It probably has a specific name for the style it is written in and I'm in two minds how to end it; three if I go for something left field.
The positivity of the fortnight's break has been to stay well. I want two weeks of utter relaxation and doing stuff I want to do (which requires my sometimes busy schedule to go as planned) and I don't want a bad back, cold or reappearance of the cough that hasn't really gone away to spoil my holiday.
However, the aches are back. My back, obviously being supported by varying levels of stress during term time has been complaining to me like a Victorian housewife with too much fluid in her womb. My arm has been groaning at me and my knuckles feel as though someone has pumped collagen into them to hide the wrinkles (they don't look like that though or I would be worried). I think a state of relaxation at nearly 50 with a history of 'arthritic' complaints is a recipe for pulled muscles, cricked necks and general fragility.
Of course, this all could be down to: emptying the duck pond, digging the veg plot, putting my spuds in, weeding the borders, pruning the trees, clearing up the mess and generally making the back garden look like a garden and not afterthought in purgatory. That's probably it, then.
- Today I have been listening Andrew Bird, which wasn't that bad; Jon Hopkins' soundtrack to Monsters and discovering that some of my MP3 discs don't play in my MP3 player.
- This weekend is my annual sit in front of the TV and look at azaleas and racists.
- My wife never buys me an Easter egg.
- I have some extra hot Mexicana Cheddar to try.
- A friend of mine asked me if I wasn't married how many of my Facebook friends I'd like to get jiggy with. I considered the list and decided on three possibly four. However, I also considered the fact that regardless if I was married or not, those selected would probably need to want to reciprocate otherwise we get into slightly dodgy areas. Thus proving some of these Facebook memes or whatever they're called are poorly thought out and a waste of your time.