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March 1st 2005

Today I made my first timeless entry, since I had to put the answer to the question and try to make sure people didn't read it before reading the question. I'd like to apologise to those of you who found it too easy (two so far, at fewest)... hey, it was only a moment's pleasure. Hmm... I get the feeling this diary's kind of dying... I don't have the same zeal that I used to, and I assume far fewer people are reading it than used to. I can only apologise. Maybe I should write a bit about what's going on in my life... I've been chosen to lead my 10.25 group next term, with Christine and Anthony. For those not in the know, it refers to Hebrews 10:25 (in the Bible) and is a Christian group that meets every Monday night to read a Bible passage, talk about it, pray usw. It's all good. I'm thinking about doing another Friends Marathon sometime... dunno... since I haven't paid any real attention to CrazySnakeMan for ages, I feel kinda cut off from the exciting world of Friends. After all, it's all over now anyhow (don't be surprised if I can't be bothered renewing my registration for the web address, which runs out this June). Since this diary has moved from its spiritual home, the problems on CrazySnakeMan quickly disappeared, and then I stopped really updating StephScully.co.uk (I want a change of direction, but I'm currently not sure exactly how), and now this page is drying up... soon it will go the way of so many before it. In other news, I've still barely scratched the surface of everything my RotK DVD has to offer... either I've been too busy or not in the mood, and there's still a goldmine of stuff waiting for me. This term has flown by... in the words of the Beatles, Good Night.

March 3rd 2005

Those of you who follow links from this site will already have encountered Glassball, the sport I co-created here at Warwick. Over the last couple of weeks, Rob and I have played a couple of matches where the loser has to do a forfeit - the first time, I would have had to go to School Dayz (weird music event on campus) and Rob ended up having to go to Lunch Bar (CU-organised event). The second time, we upped the ante, with the stakes being that either Rob went to Lunch Bar, or Rob went to Lunch Bar and went to a lecture in his dressing gown (depending on how badly he lost) or I had to dye my hair blond. Luckily for me, I beat him 11-4, so today he's going to 3D Geometry and Motion in dressing gown and slippers (having said previously that he'd probably be going on Friday, so I have to change my arrangements for embarrassing him). Should be... interesting... In other news, I gave up non-fairly-traded chocolate for lent. But yesterday was David's birthday, so we decided to call it an exception. Which was especially good, since Christine (ah, Christine) had made an absolutely delicious half-chocolate cake. Mmmm... chocolate...

March 5th 2005

What, dear reader, were you doing at 8 this morning? Perhaps getting up for a Saturday morning jog? Perhaps eating some breakfast. Or, more likely, sleeping. Well, it was around 8am that I went to bed, because last night Anthony and I smashed the Tesco record again... 7.15. To pass the night, I introduced him to some more of my Matthew Perry film collection, and we played a fair bit of Glassball... in fact, we choreographed a little Glassball performance, which still requires a fair bit of work. Wish us luck!

March 7th 2005Abbey Road

At 7.30 Saturday morning, I was in Tesco. At 7.30 this morning, I was taking part in a great photographic adventure. How can mere words describe the picture you see before you? From left; me, Anthony, Richard, David (or George, Paul, Ringo, John if you prefer).

March 8th 2005

Our first leadership responsibility as 10.25 leaders - the social at the end of this term - went pretty well. This wasn't the kind of social which basically involved getting blind drunk (organisation of that couldn't be too challenging): instead we played a couple of games, and did a couple of quizzes. The A-Z quiz on music/literature/film/tv is here reproduced for you (if it's a name, the letter refers to the surname):
A Which song begins 'A long, long time ago, I can still remember?
B On Friends, what is Phoebe's surname?
C Who played guitar for Derek and the Dominoes?
D Who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Shakespeare in Love?
E The film 'Clueless' is based on which novel?
F Who played Marty McFly in Back to the Future?
G Which TV programme is hosted by Tommy Walsh?
H Who played the lead in 'Big' and 'Road to Perdition'?
I Which Beatles song did they also record in German as 'Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand'?
J Who is the lead singer of the Rolling Stones?
K Who wrote the poem 'If'?
L Who played Captain Mainwaring on Dad's Army?
M Who played Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy?
N 'A Beautiful Mind' is based on the life of which person?
O Bill Sykes is a character in which Dickens novel?
P What is Spider-man's real name?
Q Who sang 'Seven Seas of Rhye'?
R Who played Baldrick in Blackadder?
S Who wrote 'East of Eden'?
T Who wrote 'War and Peace'?
U Who played Hercule Poirot in 'Death On The Nile', 'Evil Under The Sun' (etc)?
V In the Simpsons, what is Milhouse's surname?
W Who co-wrote 'Are You Dave Gorman?' with Dave Gorman?
X Which TV programme starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson?
Y In 'Hamlet', what is the name of the dead jester?
Z What is Bob Dylan's real name?

March 12th 2005

SCB relaunched yesterday, with weekly rather than daily updates. Less work (and note-taking) for me... and what a week to bring it back with! Was Thursday's episode the most exciting ever? For those who didn't see it, Lou's pub went up (and down) in flames, trapping Sindi and Stuart, and knocking Max unconcious... Steph is getting in trouble with the police for a murder she didn't commit... looks like exciting times ahead for the Hoylands... watch it!

I've said before that The One Where No-one's Ready is my favourite ever Friends episode - there's so much in there to love. It acts as a microcosm of Friends: Chandler says lots of funny stuff, Phoebe's weird, Monica's love life is messed up, and - most importantly - Ross and Rachel are happy, then fight, then make up. But it's not this that makes it such a great episode: it's the quotability that amazes me. Classic Chandler lines include 'Ho ho, he'll be back. Ho ho, there's nobody in the room.' and 'What, you're gonna show me my clothes?' and 'He's got nothing!' and 'I wrote a song today. It's called Get Up.' and 'When I get back, it's chair city. And I'm the guy who's... sitting in a chair.' The delivery on all those lines is absolutely second to none... there's also the Donald Duck thing ('Donald Duck never wears pants. But whenever he gets out the shower, he wraps a towel around himself. I mean, what's that about?' - misquote) and, more recently immortalised, Joey's line 'Perhaps a little too comfortable', which has been adapted at Warwick by replacing the word comfortable with whatever's topical. It was also the episode where the phrase ' going commando' was invented: seriously, invented. And who can forget the iconic picture of Joey wearing all of Chandler's clothes ('that's so not the opposite of hiding somebody's underwear!') with the line 'I'm Chandler. Could I be wearing any more clothes?' Amazingly, a book I read about the first four series of Friends completely lambasted this episode, with the criticism that nothing much happened: they didn't seem to realise that that was the beauty of Friends in its peak years - nothing much happens. The entire episode was the six of them getting ready to leave, and was all played in real time - one continuous scene. I think that's what makes it truly great. So if you want to see if Friends is any good, watch The One Where No-one's Ready and see a masterpiece.

March 14th 2005

Answers, in case anyone wants 'em:
American Pie
Eric Clapton
Judi Dench
Michael J. Fox
Tom Hanks
I Want To Hold Your Hand
Mick Jagger
Rudyard Kipling
Arthur Lowe
Viggo Mortensen
John Nash
Oliver Twist
Peter Parker
Tony Robinson
John Steinbeck
Leo Tolstoy
Peter Ustinov
Van Houten
Danny Wallace
Robert Zimmerman
In other news, I thought I'd make a list of people I hugged at the end of term... Diyana, Anthony (whom I hug on a daily basis anyhow), Iain, David, Christine, Sarah, Richard (who was wearing a dressing gown at the time). People I probably would have hugged had they been wearing more than just their underwear: Rob. Speaking of Rob, readers may or may not have remembered that he went to a maths lecture in his dressing gown, and appears to have sparked a new fashion - why else would Michael Jackson go to court in his pyjamas? Rob, I salute you.

March 16th 2005

So, am I alone in preferring Prince Charles to Princess Diana? I mean, my views on the monarchy are well known, but that aside, I very much prefer him. He didn't go around having affairs with rugby players or James Hewitt, he's painted as the villain of the piece just because she's prettier than he is. In fact, Camilla and Charles are a much better couple than Charles and Di ever were. Go them.

March 26th 2005

I've received complaints (oh yes, plural) from various members of the general public (okay, my aunt and uncle) about the fact that I haven't updated for ages (10 days). I am yet to receive complaints about the number of brackets I use in my prose, but it's only a matter of time. Well, today I went to my cousin's wedding, so that's worth a diary update. Those of you used to addressing my cousin as Miss Duhm will have to become accustomed to saying Mrs. Millward instead... a dramatic change in the lives of very few of my readership, I expect, but hoy-hoy. In other news, today is not Easter Saturday. It's Holy Saturday. Just so you know. Next Saturday is Easter Saturday. In further news, I've bought a few albums recently, so I'll do the traditional blog thing, and say what they are... It's The Kinks (by the Kinks, obv)(iously), Love Songs by Elvis, and Blur's greatest hits. Some time I'll avoid the pain of revision by detailing every album I have. Perhaps. I'll end today's entry with the fact that the bulk of Startlingly Carla Bonner has now moved from Geocities to FreeWebs - it's because the ads were annoying me. Although on FreeWebs I have to put on every page that they're great, and apparently they'll have ads too within 45 days. We'll see. In fact... for some reason StephScully.co.uk reverted to geocities the other day, rather than the new freewebs address (www.freewebs.com/startlinglycarlabonner). Don't know why.

March 28th 2005

There is a belief that whatever the moral outlook of today, that is the correct one. Is it just a natural belief that, as we progress and gain more scientific knowledge, our moral knowledge is also improved? Of course, it's countered with the oft-repeated belief that it was much better thirty or so years ago (it's always around thirty years, no matter when the opinion is expressed, or so I'm told). A list of things that are now deemed acceptable by the majority - in Britain - contains: sex before marriage, active homosexuality, abortion (probably), living in sin. Unacceptable things include: sexism, racism, slavery, watching Neighbours, incest. Anyone disagreeing with one or more of these viewpoints is regarded as an extremist by much of the populus, yet 200 or 300 years ago, almost all of the above would be in the opposite list. But did the absolute moral value of any of them actually change, or did people used to be wrong? Personally, my views disagree on several points with those I attributed to the populus, and on other points, I'm not sure. Two big issues are euthanasia and abortion - if you took a survey, the for and against columns wouldn't be very different in size, I'd expect, but who's to say that in a hundred years or so, there will be an opinion generally regarded as 'correct' - and judging by the progress of liberalism in this country, I'd be surprised if it wasn't that both are acceptable. My big problem with today is sexual immorality; the belief that sex before marriage is not only acceptable, but that those who don't engage in it with as many people as possible should be pitied and/or mocked. This is, in my opinion, the main problem with Friends, since the characters never examine the morality of sleeping with people long before making any commitment, let alone being married: sure, they frown upon sleeping with someone on the first date, but that's about as far as it goes. In Series 1, Rachel said (something like) 'they haven't even slept together yet; that's not a serious relationship' and there was a ripple of laughter from the audience - sadly, it was quite clear that the scriptwriters didn't intend it to be a joke. Something similar was said in Series 3, and there was no laughter. I wouldn't blame Friends for today's widespread sexual immorality, but I would say it contributed to making it acceptable, so that - along with the constant blasphemy - is, for me, a major flaw in an otherwise fantastic sitcom. Speaking of which, my next topic for discussion is Joey. I'd heard from James that it was pretty good, whereas everyone else had told me it was rubbish. I think I have to agree with James. It's achieved what I thought would be imposible, in that it doesn't (for me) draw comparisons with Friends. OK, the eponymous protaganist was in Friends, but the set-up of the thing is so different from the ensemble nature of Friends that it's easy to watch Joey and not think of its mother programme. In terms of quality, it doesn't come close to Friends in its first four series, but the same could be said of much of Friends from Series 6 onwards - however, that inevitably drew comparisons with earlier series of Friends, being that it was the same programme, just worse. So, basically, I'm pleased with Joey: it's much better than I thought it could be... I'm just waiting for the guest appearances (apparently David Schwimmer might be appearing some time... although it could just be directing). A Matthew Perry appearance would be fantastic, although unlikely being that he, along with most of the rest of them, wants to get his film career properly off the ground. Anyways, after Joey comes Two And A Half Men, which I've been watching a fair bit - it's not bad. Starring Charlie Sheen (who played a submarine guy, possibly called Rick, in Friends) as a guy called Charlie... and he also plays a guy called Charlie in Spin City, which I happened to switch on the other day, hoping to see my second favourite actor, Michael J. Fox. Is this man too stupid to remember another name? The jury's still out.

March 29th 2005

Billy Crystal seems like a very funny guy. But, from what I've seen of him, he rarely fulfils his potential - on Oscar night 2004, he was excellent, but his film career... well. I've seen him in Analyze This (not a bad film, not a bad performance, although Lisa Kudrow was terrible), America's Sweethearts (again, not a bad performance, but a poor film), When Harry Met Sally (a chick flick, with an unconvincing ending), Throw Momma From A Train (Crystal was good, the film was weird) and, last night, Running Scared (not an amazing film, but certainly watchable). Tall Andy tells me that City Slickers is good, so that's on the to-watch list. Billy also appeared in Friends, briefly, with Robin Williams at the beginning of TOWT Ultimate Fighting Champion, in a beardless state.

March 30th 2005

Let's talk Neighbours again. You may not know that this is the 20th anniversary of Australia's only export that doesn't come back when you throw it, but to mark the occasion, lots of previous stars are returning for cameos. I can't remember the full list, but I believe it includes the likes of Lance, Amy, Joel, Ewan, Libby... oh, I don't know. Go tothis site if you care. Anyhow, one who's already here is the famous Paul Robinson (who shares his name with the Spurs and England keeper... Paul Robinson), apparently a figure of evilness from before I started watching. The few Ramsay Street residents who were around when Paul left last time appear to have forgotten just how evil he was... except Karl, who, as usual, is right but no-one believes him... so they are prepared to believe he's a good guy. Which he's not. So, naturally, I nicknamed him Evil Paul (see Evil Izzy, Evil Harold, and, most famously, Evil Gus). But it just didn't seem right... so Simon suggested Evil Robinson, which again didn't seem great, but got me thinking... Pig Robinson... so, having already brought you Supermax and Evil Gus, I now bring you my most ambitious effort yet: Piggy. Controversially, no direct reference to his name; can the world cope? Since it's unlikely to be brought outside this house, I might never know (my friends at Uni sadly take little interest in my Neighbours-watching activities... maybe I can get Becky on board...). In other news, I write this while watching the England vs Azerbahowdoyousaythisletalonespellitjan, and in the fourteenth minute, England are yet to score, although they really should have. My prediction before the game was a win for England, but not by much - 2-0 or 3-0, perhaps - so we'll see. (Apologies to any blind people that last clause may have offended). Hmm... when was the last time anything I wrote here sparked any controversy? Or even a small amount of interest? Because I've been writing less frequently and amusingly, and because people who used to read it are now living lives that rarely, if ever, intersect with my own existence. Never mind... all people below 5 ft 11 should be shot. That should do it. Er... except my Mum.

what was I listening to?
Love Songs - Elvis Presley
what was I reading?
The Bible
what was I watching?
Fools Rush In
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