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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Recent dreams

Some people keep a regular record of their dreams, and good on them for doing so, but a recent conversation with a friend has inspired me to try a little dream analysis.

Dream one.

In the first, I was wandering around a school / office type building, trying to get Marmalade (the ginger cat that, until recently, lived with us). I met somebody who was doing a diabolical bad-guy speech into the PA system. They were definitely evil, because they pinned down a butterfly - a big, beautiful, bright, multicoloured one - and killed it. Then somebody (me? Not from my perspective, though) split their head in half with an axe. This was not even vaguely concerning to me; as I said, they pinned down a butterfly, so... they deserved it (dream logic. I do not advocate death for butterfly killers).

Friend's interpretation of this: The butterfly represents some kind of potential within myself; something that's being stifled by an outside force.

My interpretation: Not sure the force is external. Tempted to conclude that the butterfly, the maniac and the axe wielder are all aspects of myself. If anyone's inhibiting me, it's me! Nice to think that my subconscious thinks that I have the means within myself to overcome this, though. But was the axe part a liberation? Felt more like an act of vengeance for something that's been lost.

Dream two.

A group of bad people did something bad to the giant, ugly, terrifying rabbits. Therefore, I was utterly in support of the rabbits getting revenge, and they did. However, my perspective switched and now I WAS one of the people getting drooled on by these monstrous lagomorphs. We ran, but the drool made me slip back. We ran away again, as fast as my little legs could go, terrified and not looking behind me. A man, holding a kid's hand, strolled out ahead of me, so I grabbed him to try and give me a speed boost.

My interpretation: never read this article again.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Experiment: fan

This is an experiment. It may well not make sense to anybody other than me, so I apologise for that!

First it was boh3m3; carelessly-crafted rants inspiring legions; we expected him to be careful with us. Inevitable disappointment, disillusionment; a fall from gracelessness, so much pride having gone before. And I, needing more, turned to the Sons of Admirals, boys demonstrating skill and immaturity and thus fuelling my fantasy. Talent is such a beautiful thing to waste. And this is what I do; watch others be wonderful, always wondering when it will be my turn, my turn to be special.

The fantasy always runs the same, no matter whom the subject: What if, what if, I met him? What if, what if I spoke? I am witty and erudite, observant and charming, and he listens. That is more or less all. To be listened to; to be respected and liked by those I like and respect; this is the stuff of dreams. And it whiles away a while for a while, while I walk or try to sleep: I think about what I would say to prove my worth.

To prove I wasn't just a fan. Which I am. I am a fan.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Single again

One day, when I'm old, I'll look back and say "Ah yes, 2010, what a beautiful summer that was" and I'll have forgotten (or, not forgotten, but ceased to mind) everything that came with it.

Gavin and I broke up this summer after three years together. If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you'll know that he was my first love. First boyfriend, even; first kiss come to that. So the past 7ish weeks have been extremely difficult for me. I've been trying to sort it all out in my head, you know. Where I went wrong. Whether breaking up was the right choice. I only feel able to talk about it now because I met up with Gavin today, and we talked for the first time in over a month.

We still love each other, that's the kicker. But things must be the way they are, and fighting it because it hurts won't help matters. We're apart now. That's the bottom line.

A few guys have been expressing an interest since they found out I was single. Usually when I complain about this, I preface it with "I know it sounds ungrateful, but..." But not here. No, here, I'm going to be completely honest: I feel hunted. I wish they would take no for an answer; I wish they would pick up on my clues (hint: baggy jumper + no makeup = I do not want to be found attractive today thank you); and crucially - CRUCIALLY - I wish I could just forget all about that sort of thing for a while. I mean it; I am really not looking for anyone. At all. Whatsoever.

Aaaanyway... so, yes, we returned to me, didn't we. Sorry about that. At least I can stop saying "there's something I want to write about" now, because this was it.

ANYWAY, to compensate in some small way for this negative post, have a Cracked article! (Spoiler: it's even more depressing.) 6 scientific reasons breakups suck worse than you think.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Reviews: miscellaneous comedy stylings

You wouldn't think it would happen, least of all to me, but I may have finally hit my tolerance point for talking about myself. I know, I know! I thought my love for myself would last forever; I was wrong. Maybe it's time to start reviewing things in more earnest. If that's the direction I go in, I really hope you like British comedy. Really like it. Like it as much as I do. Which is a lot. To the extent that the actual quality of the programme is all but irrelevant.

I've been watching a lot of Mongrels lately ('a lot' here meaning 8 episodes, as that is in fact all there has been). It's like a slightly more charming, class-conscious version of South Park, with equal parts puppets and Mighty Boosh thrown in for good measure.

I recommend it if you like comedy that pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable without actually tearing the boundaries down. You see, while it's perfectly happy to address paedophilia, cross-species love, date rape etc. (often through song), you won't come away from watching it with your life changed (other than there being half an hour less of it before your inevitable death).

If, however, you fancy yourself as a member of the intelligentsia (as of course I do; I'm an English and Creative Writing student, superiority comes with the territory), you could do a lot worse than to check out That Mitchell and Webb Look.

It's a sketch show, so of course it's character driven, but rather than create charicatured monstrosities that make you want to scratch "Little Britain sucks" on your own eyeball just so that you remember to never, EVER watch it again, TMAWL reminds me with every sketch of myself. Me trying to fit in at parties. Me getting irate at the grammar failings of others. Me cowering underground after a non-specific Event destroys civilisation as we know it (with the apparent exception of game-shows). Even the beautifully simple "Get Me Hennimore!" sketches play on my assumed nostalgia for classic sitcoms like Dad's Army, and Are You Being Served.

I also watched some of the Armstrong and Miller show, but I'm annoyed with them because of their Enlightenment sketches, so I won't talk about them tonight.

Don't worry, I'm sure we'll be back on me soon (rejoice, peasants!); but in the meantime let me know if there's something you'd like me to review. Even if it's something you just can't be bothered to watch yourself, but feel like you should. By all means outsource that unpleasant duty to me, because I have nothing but time these days and I need to keep myself busy. Otherwise I start thinking about the Event.

Talk to you soon, and stay indoors,

PS If you do set me homework, I might not do it. Things might come up. I might get interesting again. Barring that, though, go nuts.

PPS Do not go nuts. Recommend me things to watch, by all means, but please remain as sane as you can.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Dear anyone in particular:

Hello! Hi! How d'you do! Sorry, sorry, I'm over-excitable, I know; I'm just so excited to meet you! I know, I know; it isn't technically the first time we've met. But, you see, I don't think I gave you due attention last time. You know how it is, I was busy, or tired, or a little self-involved. I apologise. The thing is, I've since realised - I've been thinking, you see, and you're actually rather fascinating.

Don't feel fascinating today? That's okay, we all have our off days, but there's a lot more to you than people realise, isn't there. Other people might say that the things you come out with are 'random', but I am drawn in, curious about what and how you think. Sometimes I watch the cogs turning when you think nobody's watching you. It amazes me, the things you notice! Things nobody else sees, things I could have missed.

Is it any surprise, then, that I want to know more about you? Sorry, I don't mean to make you uncomfortable. I realise I didn't give much warning. And it's hardly common for people to... well, express such an interest. But all this was necessary, you see; absolutely necessary; because I'm after something very specific. I'm after an honest answer. They're not easy to provoke at the best of times, and the question I'm about to ask probably elicits more lies than any other. But now that you know I'm in earnest, how about trying to lower the defenses when I ask you?

So... how are you doing?

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Sherlock: a review

I've been really enjoying Sherlock on BBC1. Actually, to be pedantic, I've been enjoying it on iPlayer; the future is here and I am no longer shackled to one time and channel (a fact that's led me to bid a tearful farewell to the Radio Times, despite its obvious worth as a media magazine). In fact, our television doesn’t receive any channels, so instead I wait until a convenient moment and watch it online. SCIENCE!

It’s a testament to the show’s excellence that the ‘convenient moment’ is never too long after its airing time. I confess to not being one of the first on board the bandwagon; I only watched it because everyone was talking about it on Twitter, and because @Steven_Moffat (who co-created it with @MarkGatiss) had just signed up himself. That’s the wonderful thing about peer pressure; sometimes everybody’s telling you to try something because it’s actually really rather good.

Really rather good. Also: nom.

I haven’t yet seen the inevitable “if you like X, you’ll love Y” review, so I’ll be the unimaginative chump who says it: Sherlock is in much the same vein as Doctor Who. You’ve got the brilliant, wild, unpredictable lead character legging it around the place, with his faithful companion in tow (who’s picking it up as he goes along, and learning a lot about Life, the Universe, and Everything). It’s only through Benedict Cumberbatch’s enthralling performance that this never feels old. There’s a wonderful moment in the second episode (out of three, mind, so you don’t have long to get on board) when Holmes does an impression of a ‘normal person’ in order to get his way. The social skills and charm are switched on, and Cumberbatch transforms himself again. I’ve not seen him in anything else, I don’t think, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see incredible character range from him in coming years. As for Martin Freeman: he is exactly what Doctor Watson (or, for that matter, a TARDIS-travelling companion) should be. Interesting, active (as opposed to passive), and learning about Holmes as the audience’s eyes and ears. My only criticism would be that we haven’t seen much emotional intensity from him, not even at times that would have demanded it; but his character’s time spent in Afghanistan probably mitigates that accusation.

There's always an awful lot of running to do!

Another thing I’ve loved about this miniseries is the accompanying web presence. The first episode mentioned John Watson’s blog and Holmes’ site “The Science of Deduction.” In addition to these, Molly Hooper’s blog and Connie Prince's website fill out the universe; giving me things to read and puzzle over in the time between episodes. Sites like this really help to bring characters to life for someone as web-obsessed as me, and although I would have preferred in-character twitter accounts, I understand the problems that would present regarding timing, interaction etc.

The plots themselves are convoluted, well-structured, and cleverly untangled by the dynamic duo. The use of text overlay is sheer genius; it’s 2010, yet most programmes are content to narrate every text they receive and letter they read. Leave unwieldy exposition to lesser mortals; with Holmes, it’s all internal. As it should be. So, in conclusion: I’m very much looking forward to the finale; and not just so that I can stare at Benedict and Martin’s lovely lovely faces.

The third episode will air Sunday, 9pm, BBC1; or watch it at for a week after. There's a good interview with Cumberbatch here if you're interested, but you can't have him.

P.S. my lovely friend Katie has updated her blog with her own Sherlock review! Do check it out.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Mind the gap

I tried to write a blog post, and it came out all nonsensical and disjointed. That's mainly because there's something I really, really need to write about, but I can't do so until September. A lot of you know what it is, to be fair, but I made a promise and I intend to stick by it. I hope to be writing to you all soon. In the meantime, please enjoy the wonderfulness of The Bloggess, who's more entertaining than me anyway!