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March 1st 2009
Have I introduced you to the film game (name pending)? I can't remember, so I shall do so now. OK. Think of an actor (/actress), then think of another, preferably rather different to the first. Now, try and connect the two via co-stars in films. I think it's best to illustrate this with an example: one I was pondering yesterday is Arnold Schwarzenegger to Tom Cruise. The aim of the game is to do it with as few jumps as possible, so I wasn't content with my first effort:
Arnold Schwarzenegger was in Twins with Danny DeVito was in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with Jack Nicholson was in The Departed with Matt Damon was in Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck was in Jersey Girl with Liv Tyler was in Empire Records with Renee Zellweger was in Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise.
After whittling down a bit longer, I got it to:
Arnold Schwarzenegger was in Twins with Danny DeVito was in The Good Night with Simon Pegg was in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People with Kirsten Dunst was in Interview with a Vampire with Tom Cruise. Any improvements, let me know at the usual address... or, why don't you try your own with Reese Witherspoon to Hugh Jackman. That's off the top of my head, so it may be easy. Give it a whirl.
In other news, I should be doing some study right now, so maybe I will. Might just go for a brief walk, first. You know how it is. Anyways, I was thinking of including quotations on this page from time to time, much like my learned colleague Ant, though mine are less likely to be related to the day's musings. They'll most likely be lines from films that I like.
Speaking of films (once more), I was going to indulge in a diatribe against the left-wingers of the Academy who gave Sean Penn an easy Oscar for an osbcure film no one will see. I was also going to point out the refusal by much of the audience to applaud Charlton Heston in the role-call of deaths for 2008 was shameful. But I reckon most people know that Hollywood is filled with leftist folk, so I can't be bothered. Three cheers for the centre-right, that's all I say.

March 4th 2009
You folks did yourselves proud, I have to say, in the 'film game' I mentioned last time. Darren pointed out that there is a well-known version called 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, which is essentially the same thing, but one of the actors has to be Kevin Bacon. He also bettered my Arnold Schwarzenegger to Tom Cruise attempt with the rather excellent Arnie >>> Kevin Pollack in End of Days >>> Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men", doing even better than Lauren, who suggested "Schwarzenegger was in Twins with Danny DeVito was in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with Jack Nicholson was in A Few Good Men with Tom Cruise." They both did better than me, possibly by dint of having seen A Few Good Men.
Then there was the challenge I threw open to y'all, to get from Reese Witherspoon to Hugh Jackman - Simon managed the creditable "Reese Witherspoon was in The Importance of Being Earnest with Colin Firth was in Bridget Jones' Diary with Renee Zellweger was in Cold Mountain with Nicole Kidman was in Australia with Hugh Jackman". He was narrowly beaten by my own: "Reese Witherspoon was in The Importance of Being Earnest with Colin Firth was in Girl with a Pearl Earring with Scarlett Johansson was in The Prestige with Hugh Jackman." However, the excellent Darren & Lauren rose to the fore again, both independently (I assume, since one lives in Bristol and one lives in the USA, and I can't imagine they know each other) coming up with "Reese Witherspoon was in American Psycho with Christian Bale was in The Prestige with Hugh Jackman."
All that boldifying has made me tired. Let me just throw a word in for the ITV version of Northanger Abbey, which I bought on DVD the other day, and is excellent. Andrew Davies had a hand in it, which is certainly a contributory factor in the film's excellence (he was the man behind the BBC's Pride and Prejudice). Catherine could do with being a year or two older, but you soon forget that as you get caught up in the beauty of her performance. Good all round, I say.
For the next few entries, until I run out of inspiration, I shall be leaving you with some quotations. Indeed, all of them will open 'I love you', as they are a collection of responses to those three words. Though some of them will go on a bit further than just the response. Anyhow, without further Apu, here's the first:

Princess Leia: I love you.
Han Solo: I know.
(Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

March 7th 2009
I don't think Dad has quite got over the fact that I spent 11 on a towel a couple of months ago. In fact, although I regard it as one of the best decisions of my life (just below giving mango chutney a try, and changing the channels when High School Musical came on), it makes me feel a little faint at times. That being the case, I fear for both my own as well as my father's well-being, when I have to admit that I've ordered a T-shirt over the interweb, and the grand total cost, including postage and packaging, is... well, I don't want to say. I'll come back to that. First of all, let me tell you about the T-shirt!
It comprises a large pi symbol - a cool enough T-shirt in and of itself - which, and here is the genius, is made up of the first 4500 or so decimal places of pi. How cool is that? So, even though it's costing me 27 - there, I said it - I feel that again this is a decision I will not regret.
Let's move on from my profligate ways, especially considering we're supposed to be in a recession, and move on to the fact I should be studying. If I studied half as much as I talk about it, I'd be very confident. Well, it's 5.47pm now, so I will get cracking and should be going for the rest of the evening. Wish me luck.

Jamal: I love you.
Latika: So what?
(Slumdog Millionaire)

March 11th 2009
Let's talk about Shakespeare, baby.
Some time ago, I pointed out a few common misquotes from Shakespeare (and, in the process, made some errors myself). Well, once bitten twice shy don't apply round here, so I'm going to go back to the theme. Instead of misquotes, it's misunderstandings: places where the lines are right but the confusion is in what they actually mean. First off, there's the classic "wherefore art thou, Romeo?", which most of us already know doesn't actually mean "It's bally dark tonight, so I can't tell if that's you or a scarecrow".
But let's move on to Richard III; the very first lines are "Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun of York" - note how it's not actually Now that is the winter of our discontent. And, indeed, if you read on, you'll note that Richard kinda wishes it was the winter of his discontent, and all this glorious summer lark gets on the nerves a tad.
Then there are those lines that people quote as if they are wise and momentous, when in fact they were written to demonstrate pomposity. Take "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them" from Twelfth Night. In She's the Man, loosely based on the play (but centring on a girl's desire to make the boys' soccer team by pretending to be her brother), the words are prefaced with; "It's like coach always says". Goodness knows I'm no fan of Shakespeare's comedies, but if they'd done a bit of research they'd have realised that the lines are designed to appeal to the foolishness and pride in Malvolio's character. In a similar vein, Polonius' "Never a borrower nor a lender be" speech shouldn't be something to stick to the fridge.
The reason I'm riffing on this theme today is not that I want to say how stupid everyone else is. Though that does crop up from time to time here. The actual fact is that I'm finding myself making the same mistake when it comes to Iago's lines; "Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls. Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands: But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed.". I think those are dashed good lines, but Iago being Iago, and speaking to Othello no less, I'm sure they're riddled with wormtonguery.
Just in case you were wondering, that's not a word.
Well, I told you about my lovely pi T-shirt, and now it's arrived I think you deserve a close-up:
Yeah, it's about 22/7

Ross: I love you.
Emily: Oh... Thank you.

March 15th 2009
I am a big fan of Dr. Cox of Scrubs. I love the guy. But, you know what? My brother hates him like parsnips in the roast potato dish. And I think that this hatred is exacerbated by the fact that the authorial comment - as it were - is strongly in favour of the guy. When he produces his glorious rants, in an admittedly less than caring way, Simon's annoyance is more than likely doubled by the fact that we, the viewers, are supposed to be siding with the chap.
I realise I'm ascribing motivation to my twin, so when I say I know how he feels, I'm probably just projecting my own feelings anyhow. You won't, I expect, have come across Cadsuane in the Wheel of Time, but she is the most annoying character in fiction, as far as I'm concerned. Not as hateful as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, or Cathy in East of Eden - the latter being so horrific that I had to stop reading the book - but she is unbearably arrogant and rude. Which wouldn't be so bad, except I get the feeling that (the late, great) Robert Jordan actually wants us to appreciate her, and that drives me plum (plumb?) crazy.
Which brings me on to The Catcher in the Rye, which I finished a few days ago. I knew little about the story, but I was aware that the protaganist, Holden Caulfield, has been held close to the heart of many a disaffected teenager. So, when he turned out to be a whiny, hypocritical, deadbeat loser, I was not only taken aback, but also a little annoyed. I kept reading, because it was a pretty captivating novel, and I came to realise that J D Salinger probably didn't intend Caulfield to be idolised in the way he has been. Indeed, the unpleasant characteristics of the character - most notably the hypocrisy - are so evident that they cannot have been accidental... so, when you let those slip, you see that there are actually elements of Caulfield to be admired.
All in all, the character he most reminds me of is Adrian Mole. Adrian's inadequacies are there for all to see, but he's essentially a likeable chappie whose good qualities, though deeply hidden, are definitely present. Similarly, young Holden is obnoxious and generally unremarkable within the field of teenage angst (hey, I'm 23. It's been a good four years since I was a teenager, and only some of that angst has been delayed) but he recognises some of his own flaws, and he cares about his sister. You get the impression that he's gonna turn out OK.
In other news, I now have a list of people who've borrowed things from me. It's the way forward, considering I tend to forget what I've lent, I people tend to forget what they've borrowed. So; Ben, Yongbom, Becky, Matt, Phil and Anna... you are being watched. In a manner of speaking.

Chuck: I love you.
Ned: I hope you still feel that way when this is over.
(Pushing Daisies)

March 16th 2009
I remember reading some time ago that, whichever way you look at it, it is rude to rate people's appearance from 1 to 10 on Oscar night. These women - for it is generally women - are human beings, and to comment on the inadequacies of their clothing, hair and make-up is despicable, but is common even in the quality newspapers. Then there is the evil of Heat magazine and its ilk, where they will show a picture (taken without permission, and often from afar) of some celebrity or other, circling the areas where a fake tan has gone wrong, or there is some cellulite. How can this sell? It truly is vile.
But it's not just women, and it's not just appearance. I would generally not feel too bad about telling you my views on, say, Fern Cotton - but she is a person; she is made in God's image, and she lives as I do and as you do. How rude it is to tell the world how I feel about her, especially considering I do not know here in any way. So I'm sorry, and I won't. Except to say that I thought she was very good looking in her Comic Relief film.

Carlos: I love you.
Nicole: Don't just say that, because-
Carlos: Shut up. I love you, okay?

March 22nd 2009
I am a trifle annoyed at the moment. I thought an armchair would set my bedroom off nicely, and remembered that there was one probably going spare in my old house, so I got it - Dad and I just about managed to get it in the boot of the car, the boot being wide open. Unfortunately, as Mum noticed at the time but I didn't realise until today, it stinks of cigarette smoke. It's odd, since I never noticed the fact when it was in the old house, but having it in my room makes the room smell similarly. I've taken off the covers and washed them, but it looks like the problem is deeper. Any ideas gladly received - from cursory interweb searching, though, it looks like my choices are; (i) Febreze, which doesn't really work; (ii) expensive cleaning, which is not worth it considering the chair is probably only worth a few quid; (iii) getting rid of the chair. Well, I suppose I could return it from whence it came, but it seems a tad ungrateful. Might have to be done.
In other news, I'm not sure how I feel about Spotify.com. It's a great way to have access to countless albums... but I still prefer to have the actual, tangible CD. This just makes it harder to justify.
I'm continuing the 'I love you' theme at the end of each entry, and today's is a contribution from Simon. Feel free to supply your own at the usual address.

Declan: I love you.
Bridget: I didn't quite catch that.

March 25th 2009
You'll all be delighted to know that Matthew Perry has a new film out this week. Sort of. He is something of a bit-part player in the Zac Efron vehicle 17 Again, playing Zac's character as an older man. Or something like that. It's just Big, but the other way round. But hey, let's hear it for cinematic release!
Speaking of Matthew Perry films, I think I can legitimately claim to have seen more of these than anyone I know (Three to Tango, Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, The Whole Ten Yards, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, Almost Heroes, Numb, Serving Sara, The Kid, She's Out of Control, The Triumph), but I'd like to tell y'all about my good friends Ant and Simon. The latter being my brother; the former being a chap who gets called 'Colin' quite a lot. You see, I reckon they probably come in joint second, having seen about 8 of that list. Now, you could say that I have had some influence there, but I prefer to think that they are just Matthew Perry devotees. Man, that guy rocks.
in other news, I want to gripe about Carol Vorderman. She was described the other day as 'the country's most famous mathematician' - well, the thing is, she ain't a mathematician. She's pretty good at mental arithmetic - though if you spent 25 years multiplying the same 14 numbers together, you'd be pretty good at it too - but sums do not a mathematician make. She's a third class engineer, I'm afraid. Sorry, Carol... I hear from Simon, my Countdown-competing brother, that you're a nice lass.

Lizzie: I love you
Peter: See, that's very good news. I thought I was alone in the love department.

what was I listening to?
Garden State (soundtrack)
what was I reading?
The Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
what was I watching?
Get Smart
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