Thursday, July 26, 2007

Life ain't fair.

Me: Why can't they structure the tax disc system to be more like the television license fee? That way, we'd pay far less tax.

Alan: How did you work that out?

Me: Because our car is black and white.

The Silly Season begins

I feel like a high-schooler, posting a quiz-based meme in what's ostensibly a semi-serious blog, but I was rather amused to learn today that, according to the promotional website for The Golden Compass, if I were a character in a Philip Pullman novel, my daemon would be a tiger named Alvin.

Now, I think most people who know me would agree with the "tiger" bit, albeit probably in a far less complimentary form (I'm also a Year of the Tiger baby, which apparently means, ahem, I have a quick temper and will never get married). But... Alvin? Seriously.

Though I did grow up in the same house as a ginger cat named Theodore.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ironies of global warming

All this rain we've been having lately has caused the car to do what Minis do worst: i.e., develop a) rust and b) more worryingly, damp sparkplugs. Which is ironic, considering that it's a pretty ecologically sound choice of car (it's recycled, it contains no energy-burning bells and/or whistles and, despite being nearly old enough to drive itself, gets about 30 miles to the gallon), and the neighbour's gas-guzzler seems to be getting through the deluge unscathed. No justice.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Recyclingwatch omnibus

Now that Doctor Who is over for the moment, here is a handy link to the full run of Recyclingwatch. Responses have been surprisingly gratifying (i.e. people actually wrote in to say they liked it) which means I'm thinking of doing something similar next year. It's actually been a fun way of reviewing the episodes without having to actually write paragraphs, from my point of view, so there's a few reasons to go for it.

Reasons to be slightly puzzled

Today I received a cheque for £9.00 in the post from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, and I'm still trying to figure out why. Not that I'm ungrateful for it, it's just that I can't think of anything they should be reimbursing me for.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Riding around in cars with boys

Alan: Better not park your Mini next to that other Mini, or they'll mate and we'll be stuck with a litter of little Minis.

Me: Don't worry, I'll park next to this Alfa Romeo, so that if they mate, we'll get a litter of Mondeos.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

B'Stard Beware

Alan and I went to see Rik Mayall's The New Statesman stage show a couple of years back, and thought it was a great updating of the series for the Blair era. So, naturally, when Rik Mayall turned up with what purported to be a new NS stage show at the Richmond Theatre (our local, at least until the Egham/Staines area gets a proper rep theatre), we booked tickets and settled in.

Only to find that it was the same stage show. Sort of.

To be fair, the jokes had all been completely updated, but the plot was the same, aside from a new subplot about Alan B'Stard wanting to join the Trillionaires Club. Oh well, we agreed afterwards, buyer beware, and at least there were enough new jokes to make it worth the trip.

But then I reread the advert in the Richmond Theatre's guide to upcoming shows:

"Brand New Installment Direct From West End Success..."

"Episode 2007...."

"Don't miss Rik Mayall's hilarious comedy creation in this brand new installment..."

And the one bit that actually describes the plot, focuses exclusively on the Trillionaires Club subplot.

I suppose one could make some kind of comment about it being a metatextual joke on the audience in a B'Stardesque vein, but if so, it wasn't funny enough to justify the ticket price.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Last of the Recyclingwatches

The End of the World: Popular musical numbers again (is RTD trying for a soundtrack album?).

Father's Day: Turning back time to change history and reset a screwed-up timeline.

But mostly, this episode is a greatest-hits compilation of the following four stories:

The Parting of the Ways: Let's see: enemy alien which is really little bits of human in a mechanical casing; Captain Jack getting shot by the enemy while creating a distraction (even doing the whole cruciform-arms "yeah, I kind of figured that" bit while doing so); deus ex machina ending in which one of the main characters becomes a transfigured glowing godlike thing and uses their magical powers to hit the reset button; the power of belief.

Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel: Companion takes up with the resistance, who involve cute stubbly men and butch older women; humans converted into robot thingies and seeing nothing wrong with this; donning of maids' uniforms; companion decides to stick around Earth at the end of the adventure due to their experiences in it. Villain with airborne HQ and all-controlling mobile phone network. The Doctor/Master, speaking over a television network, assuming that Rose/Martha is watching at the time and will interpret what he says and does correctly, which happens, through coincidence, to be exactly the case.

Doomsday: Companion in resistance in black designer fighting suit; companion leaves series; companion as "defender of the Earth." Invasion by flying thingies from out of the rift, who are defeated by a convenient deus ex machina. Companion's dysfunctional family are magically back together at the end.

The Runaway Bride: Companion decides not to take the Doctor up on an offer of further adventures; the Doctor repeating the word "what?" after something incongruous turns up in the Tardis after the teary goodbye.

Ripping Themselves Off: Who'd've thought The Lazarus Experiment would wind up as the pivotal story of the season? I mean, really? Plus the whole power-of-words bit from The Shakepseare Code (seriously, why couldn't they have carried on ripping off"Human Nature"?).

Timelash Moment: The ending was oddly dissatisfying. Plus finding out that the Borad is the Loch Ness Monster/Captain Jack is the Face of Boe (both equally unlikely-sounding fates).

The Fifth Element: Clearly-defined moment that you can point to and say "There, that's where the shark got jumped."

Old Skool Who: The Dalek Invasion of Earth (ripped off in so many ways, the Nation Estate ought to be suing); The Curse of Fenric (future humans paradoxically come back for revenge on their ancestors); The Leisure Hive (aging the Doctor again-- come on, it's been done before); The Stones of Blood (Professor Amelia Rumford returns, but heterosexual). The American Telemovie (turn-back-time ending; climax that involves a total ignoring of the existance of time zones on the part of the writer; heavy-handed Doctor=Christ Master=Satan metaphor). The Mutants (where Ky turns into a big shiny, floaty god-thing and makes everything OK again). Timewyrm: Revelation (the ending, where the companion goes back in time and does things to people who can't remember the alternate history which are incomprehensible to them).

Everything Else: Peter Pan (clap your hands if you believe in fairies, and Tinkerbell shall live again). Star Wars trilogy again (the Doctor lighting the Master's funeral pyre, just like Luke does with Anakin at the end of Return of the Jedi, only less poignant). Scarface (Michelle Pfeiffer called, she wants her performance as a faintly-stoned, red-evening-dress-wearing, blonde wife of a psychopath megalomaniac back). The Doctor has been variously compared to Gollum, Dobby the House Elf, and Moloch from Blake's 7, though he reminds me personally of a cross between a puppy dog and the ghost of Doctor Mabuse from Das Testament des Doktor Mabuses (but then, as Alan has helpfully pointed out, that says more about me than anything). Quatermass (the 1978 one; degenerate future world where the hero's allies are helpful scientists and slightly butch older women). Blake's 7: "Terminal" (the human race, at the end of its existence, devolving into primitive savagery). Flash Gordon (as well as the Master's death-dodge at the end, there's the floating HQ, the hero on a picaresque quest to rally the populace, who all inexplicably decide to rally round at the end). The Matrix trilogy; any film/TV programme which uses the Titanic disaster to ironic effect (that Benny Hill monologue in which a shipwrecked sailor, after many hair-raising adventures, is finally rescued... by the Titanic... leaps to mind); Tim Burton's Batman (Jack Nicholson called, he wants his popular music collection back). Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Series 4 finale (hero being transfigured through others' belief in her) and Series 7 finale (again, the faith/belief of ordinary girls being channelled to defeat evil), as well as another visual reference to Willow's flying act in "Tough Love." Battlestar Galactica ("one year later...": though to be fair, Alias and Six Feet Under both got there first).

Now I've got Aqua's song "Turn Back Time" going through my head. How annoying.