102

Today my Granddad would have been 102 years old, had he not died 14 years ago. He missed his birthday that year by a few days. We went out to the local carvery and had roast dinner in his honour. Inevitably we will always go out to eat roast dinner, because the right variety of bits for a roast dinner is tricky when you’ve only got two people to eat the thing.

On Wednesday night, I went to see Larry & His Flask at the Islington Academy. Weirdly I don’t think I had really listened to any of their music, since the last time I saw them live, bought an album and played it in the car on the way home. All I knew was that I enjoyed the last time I had seen them and it felt like ages since I had seen them and that I should see them again.

Which, of course, was the right decision.

Sam Russo, whose music I also like, and Crazy Arm, whose music I’d never heard but I think Emma likes, supported and were good. The last time I saw Sam Russo, he was supporting Dave Hause and he’d done his leg in but remained charming. He’s still charming and his music is still great but seems to admit to a lot of crime? He says he didn’t murder anyone, which is good.

Larry & His Flask though. I was thinking as I stood there listening, that my Dad would have really enjoyed their music. Being an only child, my parents were always fairly protective (maybe overprotective as I’ve always been cautious anyway) so my Dad used to come to gigs with me. He took me to my first gig – AFI’s Nightmare After Christmas gig at the London Astoria back in like 2002. We went to festivals and gigs and I never minded that I always “had” to go with my Dad because we had a great time and he was always up for going. I suppose maybe I was lucky that my Dad would listen to the music I liked – it always seemed more difficult for other people I knew whose folks weren’t keen on them going out late on a school-night and there was the tension between having to hurry home after and not wanting to hurry back. No such problem for me and my Dad, because since he didn’t like public transport, he would always drive us there and back and we didn’t have to contend with the thought of missing the train.

Plus like, he would buy the tickets and the drinks and the merch because he was my Dad and I was the child. I’ve still got the hoodie he bought for me at that first gig – he popped out during the encore to buy me something, have a smoke and bring the car round and miss all the crowds going for their cars and that.

Now, I don’t think my Dad loved AFI, even though he saw them probably 6 or 7 times over the years, but I think he would really have enjoyed seeing Larry & His Flask. This was the thought I had on Wednesday night, along with the thought that everyone there seemed to be really joyful and happy that Larry & His Flask were back on tour and were playing for us all that night.

I really want to seem them again.

Other things:

  • I am hoping that Anthropocene will be at the London Film Festival this year and at a time I can make. Last year, I got lucky that all the various extra religious holidays that my work gives us off overlapped with LFF but this year it’s all a month early so maybe I’m going to have to take actual time off to see films. We’ll see.
  • Our Attitude Toward Aliens Proves We Still Think We’re Special – I guess I just figured that aliens have a Prime Directive, like there is in Star Trek.
  • An idea that really resonated with me:

    “A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits.

    Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny. We have many paths and we pursue all of them, either sequentially or simultaneously (or both).

    Multipotentialites thrive on learning, exploring, and mastering new skills. We are excellent at bringing disparate ideas together in creative ways. This makes us incredible innovators and problem solvers.

    When it comes to new interests that emerge, our insatiable curiosity leads us to absorb everything we can get our hands on. As a result, we pick up new skills fast and tend to be a wealth of information.”
    — Emilie Wapnick, Puttylike (found here)

  • The Story We Don’t Talk About: On Irishness, Immigration, and Race
  • I like to think that this ice cream was made from Old ones.
  • About my favourite food in the whole world.

Reading old newsletters

I’m subscribed to a few newsletters and tend to read them either immediately or months after I received them.

So now I know what an omelette thing stemmed from, that made the rounds on the twitters and other newsletters that I did read when I got them. Months after the fact.

Some things from newsletters:

I don’t think I was ever a blogger. I had a livejournal for a long time and various blogs etc over the years, but I don’t know if I ever had anything in particular to broadcast.

On the train

On Saturday, I got on the Northern Line to return home from hearing the Space Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall (which was great). Anyway, I spot an empty seat between some dude and some lady, whose bag is on the seat.

I stand in front of the seat. The lady moves her bag and I sit.

Now back to the dude, who had been sitting knees akimbo and is now sitting with legs significantly less akimbo. The dude looks at my leg, right next to his leg. The dude looks at my arm, right next to his arm.

The dude turns to his friend on the other side and comments to him about the inexplicable closeness of our limbs, deeply surprised that yes, yes I am right up in his personal space and yeah, my elbow is now on the armrest, where his once was and is not moving no matter how incredulously he peers at it.

Turns out this dude has seriously underestimated exactly how fat I am and how unconcerned I am about personal space on a mode of transport where traditionally the passengers are packed on like sardines. LOL

So the lesson is, when you spot someone who clearly likes a few pies and can generally be described as “sturdy”, you should expect them to take up a whole seat.

I <3 RSS 5eva

Reading a Wired article on how RSS is apparently coming back and mostly struck by the fact that, for me at least, it never went away.

Still, the lasting appeal of RSS remains the parts that haven’t changed: the unfiltered view of the open web, and the chance to make your own decisions about what you find there.

“The most amazing thing to me about RSS is that no one really went away from it,” says Wolf. “It still exists. Somehow through all of this. It’s crazy, in a way, that when you go away from RSS and then come back to it, it’s all still there.”

I LOVE RSS.

I browse Tumblr by RSS. I BROWSE TUMBLR BY RSS. And boy am I glad that the spooky names for October business died down because now I only have to check who I am following every once in a while to see who just randomly changed their URL (I have never understood the changing your URL stuff, how are people you know supposed to find you?). I get podcasts by RSS. I still follow a few blogs by RSS.

I miss Google Reader, but now I use Feedly and keep a foot in over at Inoreader and maybe I’m gonna see if I still have an Old Reader account because I liked that one. I also use an RSS reader in the Opera Browser which currently is kind of an extension that is replicated in the latest version a thing that used to be in the old version but Opera has brought in some thing called “News” that tries to hijack RSS feeds away from the RSS reader extension I installed. And you can’t turn the news thing off.

WHY REMOVE A THING, ONLY TO PUT IT BACK WORSE AFTER LIKE FIVE YEARS?

RSS may have sometimes delivered the last 20 items that I already read from a blog, but at least they have never been delivered to me out of chronological order.

Very endless implications

Lately I find myself subscribing to more newsletters. Partly I blame Warren Ellis, mostly I think I just miss the stream of longer form wittering that I used to get from my Livejournal friends page. I never stopped being annoyed when a website failed to furnish me with a RSS feed (or get slightly angry when they removed it).

Oh you don’t have RSS, well I guess I don’t need to look at your website at all.

Which maybe is a little counter-intuitive, since RSS tends to just give you the latest thing (and yeah, I don’t enjoy the RSS feeds that only give truncated snippets), but since if the latest thing in my aggregator looks interesting, I open it in a new tab to pay attention to later then…

Newletters. I don’t always get to them as they arrive, but every so often I binge on a few of them (it’s the same with podcasts for me).

Anyway, I’m slowly putting some links to the ones I subscribe to in the sidebar. Enjoy.

Yes, I would like to subscribe to this feeling

In this week’s edition of Sarah Jaffe’s newletter she says:

“I keep those things closer to the vest these days; once upon a time I was as much a feelsblogger as anyone but, well, some combination of adulthood, professionalism, and Literally Everyone Being On The Internet now marked a shift there.”

And isn’t that a great term? Feelsblogger. I’ve never really been one to talk about how I feel about anything – online or offline. Maybe I did right at the beginning of the Livejournal days, but mostly due to a lack of anything to really say? Most of my writing back then was on Usenet, so that’s where all the real substance (such as it was) went.

Now all the feels I have on the internet are about Star Trek or Captain America or Star Wars or some other media I have engaged with. For me, I’m not sure that anything has changed now that I’m a so-called grown-up with a job and anyone could search for my witterings – perhaps I’m more likely to share my feels (limited to scifi, very little to do with life events)? I don’t think I’ve ever put anything online that I wouldn’t want someone to find – I’ve looked back at those early LJ days and there’s nothing embarassing, though it is like looking in a mirror at someone wholly unrecognisable to me now.

Films in 2017 and stuff

I figure it’s time for my annual round up of the new films I saw this year as it’s getting towards the end of the year and, having taken a look at what’s on offer for the next couple of weeks at my local cinema, I don’t think I’ll be adding to the list. You never know though, so maybe I’ll reserve the right to revise this review closer to the end of the year.

I’m going to start with the “and stuff” of the title – my favourite band, AFI, released a new album this year (and once again did not tour in the UK) and, of course, it is awesome. Davey Havok released an album with his sideproject, Dreamcar, and that was pretty good too. The stand-out albums for me aren’t either of these albums (as much as I love them). No, the two albums that have been on repeat in my car all year (pretty much) are Dave Hause’s “Bury Me in Philly” and Maxïmo Park’s “Risk to Exist” – and Maxïmo Park’s album sat in its shrink-wrap for like two weeks before I even opened it (I opened it AS SOON AS I GOT HOME from seeing them live and hearing all the really great new songs). Continue reading “Films in 2017 and stuff”

Chinese Food etc

So I’m reading about a place I’ve been to eat at a few times and the article has the following:

Until roughly a decade ago, when the Chinese began travelling more freely, bringing with them thrillingly punchy cooking from its various provinces, Chinese food in Britain was dying. It was dominated by over-sweetened iterations of clumsy Cantonese dishes which made you hate yourself for eating them.

And I cannot help but wonder where this person had been going to eat. I mean sure, you do have English-Chinese food, but that’s why when you go to a Chinese restaurant you take a look and see if there are more white people than Chinese people there and then you know what kind of Chinese food to expect. I guess this guy didn’t know about the secret Chinese menu.

Films in 2016: Rated

New films I saw this year, in reverse order of how much I enjoyed them (basically, the last film in this list was amazeface) as kept track of throughout the year on Letterboxd.

  • Dad’s Army – This was terrible. The only good part was Mrs Mainwaring.
  • Anthropoid – I can barely remember this film. I imagine it must have much like any other film based on events from WW2. I think there…was a romance? I wasn’t very interested in it if there was.
  • The Girl on the Train – I’d not read the book before I saw this ( and I’ve still not seen it) but it was entertaining enough, if fairly predictable.
  • Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey – It was nice. I had a terrible cold during LFF so it was quite handy that I didn’t have to think too much when watching this.
  • Interchange – I didn’t entirely know what I expected when I decided that I would see a film that involved vampirism in Malaysia – certainly not anything to do with indigenous Malay tribal people. I did like that the characters switched between languages – which of course is common in Malaysia, but I don’t usually get to see it on-screen.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice  – I enjoyed it. Unsure about Lex Luthor, but I’m quite interested in seeing the next film.
  • Dancer – When this film was being made, no one involved in the film had any idea how it would turn out – as they were just following the life of Sergei Polunin. I’m glad I wasn’t making the film or, for that matter, pursued ballet beyond the age of five.
  • Jason Bourne – My Mum really loves Jason Bourne and Matt Damon to the extent that we joke that he is her new boyfriend.
  • Chi-raq  – I will watch nearly anything based on ancient Greek plays so of course I was going to see this.
  • White Colour Black – Interesting look at being part of two distinct cultures, although I’m not sure thaat I could relate much to the main character Leke even though I’m mixed-race too but that’s mostly because I’m not a hedonistic, sought-after photographer.
  • Ghostbusters – Fun and very much in the same spirit as the previous Ghostbuster films. lol.
  • The Secret Scripture – Mum and I went to see this and Dancer on the same day as this year she was interested in going to see some LFF films (although she still thinks going to see as many as I do is a bit out there) and this was the film she was most interested in. As we got towards the end of the film, you could kind of see what was coming but that was more a nice rounding off rather than being boringly predictable.
  • Star Trek Beyond – I love Star Trek with all my heart and this film was a relief after the film that we do not talk about. Fun, lots of exciting action and Karl Urban is the greatest of us.
  • Deadpool – I also love Deadpool, but not as much as I love Star Trek and this film was still slightly more enjoyable than Star Trek Beyond though probably because of the incredible amounts of violence.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – I have too many feelings about this film. It’s a solid war movie.
  • Captain America: Civil War – Probably not as good as Winter Soldier, but still super enjoyable. I still don’t like spending time with Tony Stark but RDJ continues to play him well. I will never understand how Chris Evans fit in that tiny car. Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson are forever a delight together.
  • Arrival – This film was astounding when I saw it back in October, was still astounding when I saw it again in November and remains so as I think about it now. I think this year really needed this film. V satisfying.