I've been "tagged" by "Sam" and ordered to talk about what I've experienced in every possible medium over the last seven days. He suggested I could also tell us which media I've been watched/listened to/read in, but to my great shame, you've caught me in a slow week between starring in my own documentary and making a cameo in one about a chimp. Not so much as a newspaper article in the last seven days, to the best of my knowledge, although I have been being pestered at length by the Canadian Broadcasting Company, who are coming to film me next week.
Actually, I told them I wouldn't do one of the two things they wanted to film me doing, because they were starting to annoy me. I regret it now, because I've just remembered I've got a couple of friends in Canada who'd no doubt enjoy watching it.
But anyway, here's everything I can remember doing for the last week:
What I read
Probably within the last week, I finished re-reading The Green Mile, by Stephen King, which is one of his best, and always worth another look every couple of years once I've had time to forget all the little details. Then I moved on to Treasure Island, which I hadn't read since I was in school but had been meaning to buy and read again ever since I saw that they're performing it at the Derby Playhouse at the moment. It really is a fantastic book. Since finishing it, my bedtime reading has been selected bits of the complete works of Chaucer (the textual notes as much as the poetry - I love the intricate process of establishing a definitive text from all the widely varying manuscript readings. You just don't get that fun from writers who did their writing after the invention of moveable type).
In comics, last week's selection was The Umbrella Academy #5, probably the best new comic around at the moment, brilliantly written by Gerard Way and heartily recommended to anyone; Iron Man/Power Pack #3, latest in Marc Sumerak's wonderful kid-friendly superhero adventure in the classic style backed up by Chris Giarusso's hilarious Mini-Marvels strips (no Elephant Steve in this one, sadly), heartily recommended to anyone whose first superhero comic was the Power Pack backup strip in Star Wars weekly; and Penance: Relentless #4, which is frankly almost unreadable drivel and my only excuse for buying it is a sort of Thunderbolts completist syndrome that I really need to break myself of. I also bought this week's Beano today, since it was in a plastic bag and I couldn't flick through it in the shop like I normally do - it isn't much good. There's normally one or two entertaining bits in each issue, but the only strip of note this week is "Bash Street Zombies" by Kev Sutherland. His Bash Street Kids stories generally somehow fail to be as funny as they should be, but this one has a genuinely gigglesome bit with Cuthbert's comic rejuvenating machine that has an unfortunate side-effect of turning people into zombies.
What I watched
I haven't been watching much telly lately, actually. I watch the repeats of Friends on E4 every night (yes I do, Crispy - "lowbrow" indeed...) followed by repeats of The Simpsons on channel 4 and that's about it. Until it finished on Sunday I was watching quite a bit of the snooker - Stephen Lee (enormously fat) lost to Mark Selby (slim), which just makes my resolve to lose weight even firmer. I don't want to be the only 'sport' champion who's obese. Even darts players are positively skinny these days. And I watch the football highlights every Saturday and Sunday evening.
As for cartoons, it's a bit of a slow time for quality animated entertainment these days. It's a while since the American studios churned out a good, watchable adventure or comedy series for kids. In the field of very-small-children's entertainment, I have been enjoying "Timothy Goes To School" just lately. It's a by-the-numbers kind of semi-educational series, but they do make an effort with characterisation and humour above and beyond the call of duty for a show like that, which I do appreciate.
I also watched the first couple of minutes of Ski Sunday, just to see if the 'new direction' for the series really is as bad as it sounded. Yes, it is. If anything it's even worse. They decided to change it from a programme about ski competitions into Top Gear without the cars. Why they thought that would be a good idea is beyond me - see rubbish skier Graham Bell looking at mountains! Woo! And, despite the continuity announcer's assurance before the programme, the wonderful theme tune has been very badly remixed and mostly drowned out by helicopter noises and swooshing sound effects.
What I listened to
Again, not all that much. I've got out of the habit of listening to an album in an evening. Except for tonight - the best of REM is playing right now. It's "Orange Crush" at this exact moment, if you really need to know. I've maybe had another couple playing in the background this past week - Definitely Maybe by Oasis, and This Is The Life by Amy McDonald. I've also had Virgin Radio on from time to time. I'll listen to anything except The Geoff Show and the Saturday afternoon show where they interrupt the songs every time a goal is scored in any football match in the country.
What I surfed
Bits and pieces, here and there - Sam's aforementioned blog is one of the couple I check daily, Jemfy's is the other. I keep forgetting to read Samt's every day, but I've kept up with it when my brain permits.
Webcomics I read either daily or whenever they update: Newshounds, Something Happens, Ozy and Millie, Count Your Sheep, Achewood and Order Of The Stick.
I read the BBC News website, the forums for memory and othello competitions and anything else that springs to mind. I always like to read the comments people leave on this blog, of course - thanks in particular to those who suggested ways I could lose weight, but I don't think I'll be getting a pedometer (they click over if you shake them - I wouldn't be able to resist the temptation) or the fitness plan that comes with a disclaimer that some people say it could be harmful, tempting as that is.
What I’ve played
As I'm sure you know, I'm hugely disdainful of modern video game systems. In the past week, I've been playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my Mega Drive - the original game, Sonic 3 and the bonus game you get when you plug Sonic 1 into Sonic And Knuckles. Great stuff.
Online, I've been occasionally playing othello - I always play in the Saturday night tournament on kurnik while I'm watching Match Of The Day, and I've been doing quite well by my standards just lately. I've also been playing a bit of xiangqi/Chinese chess, and finding that I'm much worse at it now than I was a few years ago when I was playing semi-regularly. And I was always pretty terrible.
Well, I think that's enough details of my everyday life to be going on with. REM have moved on to Electrolite, so I've had five full songs play since I did the listened-to bit. It's a good thing I've got nothing else to be doing with my life, isn't it?