Friday, October 13, 2006

Can you change your age by deed poll?

It's not that I'm disturbed about turning thirty. It's just that it sounds so, well, grown-up. It's like overnight I'll turn from a young man-about-town in my twenties into a thirtysomething fit only for a sitcom about not being young any more. It's getting to the point where my favourite complaint that I'm ten times older than I want to be STILL makes me sound really quite old, comparatively speaking.

Is it still possible to become famous after thirty years as a nonentity? Well, almost a nonentity. I've got a wildly-inaccurate stub on Wikipedia nowadays, after all, that's fairly famous. And a full entry on the German version. And five shiny tropies sitting on top of my kitchen cupboard. And the genuine intention of writing a best-selling book at some point in the future. That surely counts as being famous. I still want to be a pop singer and a racing driver and a football player and the Pope, though.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Educating Marmalade

Just to keep you up to date on my academic endeavours, I'm still going to college on Thursdays. One of the lecturers or teachers or whatever you call them (probably 'learning facilitators' or something stupid like that) is what you'd have to call an old-fashioned type. Hand-written transparencies on the overhead projector, writing on the blackboard (well, whiteboard, it's not THAT old-fashioned), presenting each lesson by the time-honoured technique of mumbling continuously about whatever the subject is without acknowledging the existence of the students in any way.

Then he's followed by a guy who can only be described as insanely multimedia. Home-made and very professional-looking Powerpoint slideshows via a laptop and projector, then a video to watch before class discussions. He even uses Mind Maps! I don't think I've ever encountered anyone outside memory circles (which often comes with Tony-Buzan-worship as part of the package). It's like stepping from the 1970s into the 21st century!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chicken Soup passed away

A variety of trains of thoughts collided tonight. I'm reading Rose Madder by Stephen King (I find that I can reread almost any Stephen King book any number of times without them getting old), which repeatedly refers to "Rosie Real", the musical cartoon apparently much loved by everyone except this cartoon fan who's never seen it. If it made it to Britain, I didn't pay any attention to it when it did. I had, however, a couple of years ago heard the song "Chicken Soup With Rice", when Scotty Arsenault put it on his much-missed Commander Kitty website (if I put a link in here anyway it'll force him to bring Kitty and the gang back!). And by 'heard the song' I mean 'listened to it over and over again because it's so brilliant and indeed still sing it to myself at odd moments even now'.

So having been reading Rose Madder I went on to read Jemfo's blog, complete with links to Muppet snippets on YouTube (three cheers for Captain Vegetable!), and that got me to wondering whether Chicken Soup With Rice might also be found on that wonderful YouTube thing that I don't pay nearly enough attention to. And it is!

Not only that, the whole darn Really Rosie is on there too (cut into three bite-size chunks), and I've just spend the last 25 minutes watching it. Sheer genius, the whole thing. Isn't the internet an amazing place?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sideswipe's got nothing on me

Having bent my own rules yesterday, I'm bending them even more today. Seriously, the rules are almost doubled over now, at an angle of maybe 167 degrees to the vertical. But you see, even though the worst thing you can possibly do on a blog is just find a funny article on the BBC news website and link to it, I'm rather entertained to read here that my old home town of Boston, Lincolnshire has the highest obesity rate of any town in the country. I'd like to think that I used to be the one keeping the average weight down to a respectable level, and since I moved to Derby I've put them over the top.

I think Boston should take great pride in this, in the style of an unexceptional Simpsons episode, and celebrate its fatness. Any publicity is good publicity, and if they really hype the place up as Britain's Obesest Town maybe some day those copycats in Massachusetts will be saying "I'm from Boston - not the one in England, the other Boston..." like they should have been all along.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ruby anniversary

Have I really written 409 blog posts, not including this one? What the heck did I write about? My mind's a blank tonight, I'll tell you.

Ah, that'll do, thanks, Jemfo! I've learned a new thing all of a sudden - it's Sukkot! Happy Sukkot! Do you wish people a happy Sukkot? It sounds like one of those festivals that's automatically happy, so maybe there's no need.

I do have a rule here about not mentioning religion in case it offends anyone, but this is a self-imposed rule, and I've broken it several times before without getting in trouble, so obviously the authorities just aren't going to do anything about it. I do sometimes get the feeling that it might be fun to be religious in some way. Atheism's all well and good, but it's rather lacking in traditional ceremonies and rituals and things you have to dress up in special outfits for. And I did have a strange dream a few months ago in which I converted to Judaism and it gave me a great sense of inner peace and fulfilment. Maybe it was a message from God. But on the other hand, I'm quite attached to my foreskin.

Naturally I do worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but then, who doesn't?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Five more days to go, five more days of sorrow

Although I'm not properly leaving work at the end of next week, it's still a symbolic kind of ending (I've persuaded everyone that I don't need a leaving do until I actually leave, at least). And I'm not hugely looking forward to next week because I've got more work to do tomorrow than is humanly possible, but never mind. I'll cross that bridge when I can't run away from it any more and it tracks me down and jumps on me like bridges do.

Also, I watched the first episode of the new Robin Hood last night and I didn't think it was very good. I don't see why they needed to devote the whole first episode to setting up the story - everyone knows the plot already, they could have just hit the ground running and done flashbacks throughout the series. Then we might have had something a bit more exciting to start off with. You really need to get the merry men on screen before the last two seconds. And the dialogue is pretty terrible - the writer in an interview said "most of the time they talk in believable medieval", which he seems to think means talking in normal English without contractions (will not instead of won't, and so on). Which of course sounds like stilted dialogue without conveying any sense of the medieval.

And there's no excuse for dropping Friar Tuck.