These stickers are, by far, my most treasured and favorite street art discoveries from my 3 hour walk on Sunday afternoon. To think... people just walked straight past them. [Available in desktop wallpaper size where possible]
- - I'm looking forward to the new Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd, even though there's a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me it's going to be flawed (ie: why are they asking people to ctrl+alt+del their TVs on the website? Using jargon only works when you use it accurately).
- - White off the Scale by Neil Mackay: "Saga's biggest thrill is giving the Nazi salute to her fans. I watch while a moshpit of smitten British skinheads salute her back - including a child aged about eight."
- - My Big River is a fun little AJAX site that searches Amazon.com as you type.
a rabbit kicking tawny hindlegs
around the telephone wires. a
fox slips lean on skinny
legs across tarmac car lots. dog
grin in scuffed hubcaps.
stuffed mushrooms oozing
on a dining table, vegetarian
escargot chewed out by
I only just realised, but I surpassed 1000 bookmarks on my del.icio.us account this week. The 1000th link? Funnily enough, it was the new William Gibson essay Time Machine Cuba (incidentally, I was the first of 102 people to bookmark that link on the site). Go me!
- - Russian movie Day Watch (preceeded by Night Watch, the first in the trilogy) is doing well in the Russian box office. The bad news? Instead of giving it the push it deserves in America, Hollywood is just going to remake it instead. Will they never learn?
- - Bedtime Stories by Robert Lepage. "Every time Hans Christian Andersen had a wank, he would put a mark in his diary."
- - Kafkamesto, a bleak point and click game (heavy download too).
- - I'm Tired of How Unfunny This Country Has Become by Mr. Fish. I love Mr. Fish.
- - Too much Red Bull is bad. Whoa! Badass.
I was going to buy my Nintendo DS tomorrow (and drop about $300 US on games and accessories). I just clicked over to Go Nintendo to discover that oh, that DS redesign that everyone had quashed? It's launching in Japan in March. Look at the sexiness! Gah! So I guess I'll be waiting a few more months now. Goddamnit.
Since being introduced to You Tube's huge range of videos (that work on all OS/browsers), I've realised that perhaps Google Video isn't really the revolutionary tool I thought it was. Mostly because they don't allow the viewing of copywritten material without permission from the owner (or alternatively, payment), which goes against every law of successful and awesome internet practices. Most of You Tube's videos are reeeeally low quality, but you can find everything from CSI bloopers to Naruto outtakes to NIN music videos, which is a good method of idling away boredom on a Sunday afternoon. Who needs to go outside?
Something that happens in an outbounds call centre after a few months, is that as you follow the progress of a customer's superficial life, you almost feel like you know them. With some people, I've been in contact every few weeks for the last 6 months. You find out if they have kids (noise in the background, sometimes they pick up the phone), if there is illness in the family, if they lose their jobs, if their builder's are useless, if the builder breaks his leg, what time they eat their evening meal... it's endless. All the little inconsequential things eventually lead to a bigger picture of someone's life.
Earlier today I called someone that I've been in contact with for about that duration of time, only to speak to his wife, who informed me that he was recovering from chemotherapy. All you can do is wish them the best of luck and disconnect the call. And that really sucks.
Finally! The new William Gibson essay promised for the last few weeks is now up on the Infinite Matrix website entitled Time Machine Cuba. The In Progress piece he posted on his blog yesterday mentioned the Cold War. Is this the upcoming theme for the new book we've all been waiting for?
I've spent some time this week being a bit pissed off that Pete Doherty can take the piss in such an extravagant manner and probably won't get a sniff of a maximum security prison. If he was some crackhead on an estate he would have been locked up a long time ago, especially considering the fact that he's really not interested in being rehabilitated (and has demonstrated that fact repeatedly). I know, I know, different laws for celebrities - but really, don't you think some time away would do us all the world of good?
What a dead month January is turning out to be! Everyone seems to be tired, stressed out, unhappy, discontent, overworked or just plain miserable; I could do with a day or two of sleep and a quitting day for the tide of irrational emotion that's inhabiting me. I hope this doesn't set the tone for the rest of 2006, because I'm exhausted already.
- - Ooh! Tamagotchi for the DS. That's one more incentive.
- - Sky News television man Jeremy Thompson has his own weblog. Surreal.
- - Japanese zine PingMag interviews director Floria Sigismondi.
A man gets drunk and is kidnapped on his daughter's birthday. After 15 years of being held in a crappy motel room, he's released with no explanation as to why this has been done to him, and the film follows his pursuit for this explanation to it's horrifying conclusion.
Thanks to hype from various sources (plus a big fat spoiler), the effect of the film was diminished somewhat. But this is a great piece: one of the problems of flicks that contain violence, is that they lack the heaviness of real body to body contact. This film has that heavy physical quality: skin, blood, muscle, bone - and pure human desperation. There's a lot of desperation in this film, very often going below the line of basic humanity to something shocking and raw. It reminds me most of Daron Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream" - if you like those character's spiral of doom, you'll probably like this film (I don't think "like" is the right word though).
- - Last night's Lost Season 1 finale 5 million viewers (bmn). I already know what's in the hatch, because goddamned Wired.com ruined it by thinking that the only people who read their site are American. You suck Wired.com. But it was a good finale - made me jump at least twice.
- - They're making new games for the Megadrive/Genesis? What the hell? I'm down for that! Who's with me?
- - A downtown New York buyer discusses young fashion designers.
- - A growing list of every known style of console EVAR. Why hasn't this been done yet?
- - Flickr tag: firstgoatse. It's not what you think. It's far better.
- - The Sims do Metallica. Watch it before Lars Ulrich finds out and sues someone.
Well, the rumour mill's a-churning. I find it hard to believe that they'd launch a DS redesign without any official promo release to the masses - if there was something new available to buy January 16th, then I'd imagine it would be an internal/backend improvement rather than something so huge as a new ergonomic structure. I be reckoning it (being whatever is being speculated about, if anything at all) will be something along the lines of an announcement of a new look. It's just too disorganised otherwise.
I'll carry on with my decision not to purchase until something official happens. That way if I hate the new design, I can wait for the older ones to drop in price - and if I love it, I can buy it, and we all win.
I swear, this has to be the most heartwarmingly fun movie I've seen in my entire life. Kikujiro follows a little boy called Masuo trying to meet his estranged mother for the first time, and the slacker guy with a crazy sense of morals who has to get him there. When it all goes wrong, the people they meet on the way find ways to make Masuo's summer a whole heap of awesomeness. It's silly humour easily matches Western counterparts like Kevin Smith or Monty Python and there's absolutely no reason why anyone wouldn't love this film to a rabid smooshy bloody death.
Narrated by the adult voice of his daughter, The Twilight Samurai is a memoir of a Junior Samurai and his family felled by sickness and poverty, and how he struggled to bring happiness and luck to them. When it came to the samurai aspect, the mesmerising factor only really came into full effect in the solitary man-and-his-sword scene (the contrast of silver blade against black sky is exquisite). However: I was impressed by the complicated stifled air in the human interaction, and within that, the way emotion was laid out in small gestures. The Devil’s in the details.
Wednesday Tuesday night, TV presenter Jonathan Ross is going to undergo a miraculous transformation from cheesy BBC man to my absolute best friend, lord, god, saviour, guide through the mists (etc, etc) for a limited time of 3 weeks, and 3 weeks only. Why? Because he's slipped over to BBC4 to present a three part series on (east) Asian cinema.
99% of the time, he's an generally unoffensive yet annoying twat (with a hot wife), but every once in a while the powers that be let him get his hands on a show where he's really allowed to explore what interests him, and then I'm absolutely glued to the television screen and no one can move me. They really need to commission him to do a weekly series about foreign cinema, because I can't be bothered to watch his late night film show to slough through a bunch of (albeit informed) opinions about films that everyone else has an opinion on, on the off chance that he'll discuss a piece I'm really interested in.
Don't believe me? Take a gander at the piece Ross wrote for The Guardian titled Confessions of a Nipponophile to warm yourselves up. Jonathan Ross' Asian Invasion airs on Tuesday at 10pm on BBC4. Watch it! You won't regret it.
BBC4 are also airing a small selection of Asian films to partner the programmes. I've not seen any of them! Ace.
- - Rules and Regulations for West Coast Takai tournaments. "Competitors are being judged for proper attitude and decorum the entire time they are on the competition floor."
- - AskMeFi: How do I deal with hunger? Some really really awesome dieting tips, especially in regards to maintaining weight loss (something I've had a hard time of in the last 6 months).
- - Dos and Don'ts for beating the iPod. "Hackers will make the features that aren't economical for you to create, that are too far-out for you to think of, and that are so personal and unique that they really draw people into forming a personal connection with your product or service."
- - The AOL ads I mentioned earlier are online, and can be found at the aol.com/discuss website. Good marketing. From AOL. I'm still in shock.
- - The Story about a Toddler. "My wife got beat at Atari by our daughter. (A game of Air-Sea Battle, for what it’s worth.) Beat. In a fair one-on-one game. By a three year old. Isn’t that funny? HAW! HAW! HAW!"
- - This Perry Bible Fellowship strip made me laugh out loud at work. People looked at me strangely. It was worth it.
You talk to a lot of... communication challenged people when your working life revolves around calling people on a phone. The following scenario has now occurred far too many times for me to not bring this up on the internet.
Me: Hello there, can I speak to Mr. X?
Woman on the phone: Mr. X isn't here, can I help?
Me: Oh, is that his partner?
Woman: No, it's his wife.
Now is it me, or is insisting that you're someone's wife (property) rather than their partner (equal) a little bit... well, odd? Can't you be a wife AND a partner? Are there men, somewhere out there in the UK, bartering their sheep for wives and installing them into expensive new kitchens, ready to pop out kids at the next instruction?
Is it me, or is there ten times the amount of television advertising for internet based products around right now? I really like AOL's recent campaign - philosophical ponderings of how awesome the web is. I wonder if they are online anywhere.
- - Not only does American minimum wage and the healthcare suck, but so does the average vacation time. Poor mites.
- - An Italian judge has ordered a priest to prove Christ exists. Ouch.
- - Sci-fi zine Infinite Matrix will be featuring a new William Gibson essay later this week. Apparently it's closing down.
- - Bruce Sterling deconstructs the latest issue of Vogue. Neato! I thought I was the only one buying the high fashion magazines for the ads.
- - How to remove semen stains from bedsheets. I live by the scrubbing with cold water (and salt if absolutely necessary) rule.
- - Lindsay Lohan is/was bulimic. Hollywood sucks.
- - Seems as if there's a Nintendo DS redesign in the works, which scuppers my plans to buy one at the end of the month. That's OK. I can wait... kinda.
"Every town has its own language. In Cannes, it's the language of dream."
- - Lifehacker: Questions to ask a prospective employer. Very handy.
- - The Cover Art Tagging Project. Has a strangely addictive quality.
- - Why I hate smoking parents by Reynolds. Sums up everything about the habit that disgusts me.
- - The Nintendo Revolution sounds like it's going to be affordable. Neat.
- - The Dormitory Boys. Note to marketing execs out there: I will watch anything obsessively if it comes wrapped in at least one hot Asian guy.
- - JAL girls by Momus.
"Jessica's parents knew there was something different about her from day one, even though they couldn't pin it down. Before long, she started to make strange noises. Jessica emits a snort and high-pitched "EH" as if to order. "If anybody mentions it, I have to do it. THNK!" she says. The sentence is calm and lucid until the spasm of the last word."
~ If I was offered one wish, I'd ask to not have Tourette's for a week. But it won't happen, will it? by Simon Hattenstone.
There was some discussion over at the William Gibson messageboard (I occasionally post there) as to the history of the black Buzz Rickson's MA-1 jacket that Cayce wears in the last book, Pattern Recognition. After four pages, WG just clears up the bickering with a detailed history of his involvement and the subsequent creation of the official Black Buzz Rickson's MA-1. It's a shame that kind of cut doesn't suit my body (I need hoods - preferably detachable hoods - when it comes to jackets, just to balance out my butt and hips), otherwise I'd start saving my money for one.
I think this could be the first time that I've made a set of New Year's Resolutions. When I was a kid, I recognised that most adults made them out of a sense of tradition, rather than an actual will to change or improve parts of their life. So it's taken me 21 odd years to actually come up with the self-motivation to want to improve certain things. I'm also probably a little bit lucky that I rarely drink, I would never think of smoking and I don't really have any other extreme addictions that would be hard to kick.
What I want for myself in 2006, is to:
- - take better care of my physical self: skin, teeth, hair, and my insides. I spent too many hours... days... of 2005 literally suffering because I was unhealthy. I can't let this happen again.
- - spend more time doing things I like, rather than so much time being restlessly bored. I want to write more, game more, watch good films, read good books, listen to good music.
- - better my future career by taking courses in various things (programming? something writing based?); as well as sticking with the current job, no matter how tired or frustrated I get.
- - travel more: from the UK, as a South African lady in San Diego airport pointed out to me, I can travel pretty much anywhere. Getting to Europe is intensely cheap, and if I buy at the right time, so is going to North America (West coast included). And I really want to see certain parts of Asia - Hong Kong is being persistantly attractive, and I would perhaps like to get there at some point this year, if not for my birthday in July.