Listening to: Safe European Home – The Clash

* This is my favourite blog post of all time:

[Courtney Love] says things like, “I’m a catalog artist: I compete with Bob Dylan,” and you nod and go “Okay, yeah,” and then you remember that Courtney Love has only ever recorded four studio albums….Some people get really riled up over that shit…but I think it’s grander than grand. I love exaggeration and hyperbole; I love blowing stuff way the hell out of proportion. Despite being a stick-in-the-mud Capricorn, I’m also a hopeless romantic, and I will always embrace every last one of romantic’s lovely synonyms (i.e., extravagant, exaggerated, wild, imaginative, fantastic, improbable, unreal, fanciful, impractical). Those are all beautiful things to be. Imagine if you always had to experience and process life exactly as life really is? That would just be the pits!


* I had no idea Muse were so popular, but observe the listening habits of London vs. Adelaide (or pretty much any other Australian city). Are they still around? Who knew? Have they been prolific? (via web-goddess)

* Apparently, if you’re in Adelaide now and you start digging, you will eventually end up halfway between Morocco and Canada (wear bathers). (via diamond geezer)

* Helena Bonham Carter is so cool.

* Heather, I haven’t done this in nearly a year and it just took me a shocking amount of time to remember which one was Uzbekistan. I can’t believe I wasted so much time at the old job playing Bubble Shooter instead.

* BBC album reviews. Hours of fun.

* I rewatched Saving Face and a lot of Degrassi Junior High this weekend. I have almost perfected my Canadian accent (well, as long as the only things I say are “aboot”, “I like ‘im” and “Kathleen!”).

* I also cycled to Clapham Junction and finally started to wish that the weather was a bit warmer. Sort of. It’s a pretty good route for cycle lanes, though, so that’s a plus – once this week’s travel card runs out, it’s time to start riding to work again!

And please keep your fingers crossed that I score a ticket to That Mitchell and Webb Look at the end of the month! I haven’t done BBC things in ages!

(Today’s fortune cookie says “YOU NEED NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR FUTURE”. Okay then.)


Listening to: Land – Patti Smith


(Oh! I need to make another “Go Rimbaud!” T-shirt.)

It occurred to me yesterday that I have no current cultural obsessions, apart from maybe the Lucksmiths (okay, definitely the Lucksmiths, always the Lucksmiths – but the only other Lucksmiths fans I know are L & T). What TV shows am I watching/do I love? What movies do I like? What am I reading? I felt like a bit of a dick for not having had ready answers.

So okay. The reading one is actually easily answerable: on Friday I set myself up with a borrower record and finally kicked into “hey, I work in a library!” mode, picking up and taking home everything shiny that passed before me on the circulation desk. The real question is what aren’t I reading? So I have: a couple of things from the Nigerian authors display (Chinua Achebe and something else…it’s in my backpack and all I can remember about it is that it has a nice cover), a photocopied journal article about Mills & Boons, two CILIP-y library magazines, a Fair Trade cookbook (I haven’t actually cooked in ages! It’s just food porn) and Deborah Cameron’s The Myth of Mars and Venus, which I frigging love – it’s a debunking of all the John Gray/pop psychology/crap science/self-help bullshit about the “essential differences” between men and women. And of course I’m still plugging away at the Murakami. Oh, and Philosophy Now. And I have been skimming Anne Sexton‘s Complete Poems, but I’m not sure about her yet. She’s interesting but I guess I’m squeamish and they’re not pretty poems – of all of them, I like the ones from “The Divorce Papers” in 45 Mercy Street most.

Shortly before the Shepherd’s Bush household dissolved, B and I went through a massive Weeds phase (we watched the DVDs twice each – separately and together), but although I’ve downloaded/DVDed a lot of TV series since then, nothing’s grabbed me quite as much. True Blood was really good (and got better in the second season. How weird is it seeing Ryan Kwanten in this context, though?) and I’ve been through Gossip Girl (eh – it passes the time), Once and Again (which sounds naff [and often it was – it’s kind of a guilty pleasure], but it was actually occasionally brilliant – it was made by the same people as My So-Called Life. Evan Rachel Wood’s character’s eating disorder, for example, was handled perfectlyjust perfectly. It made me want to go back fifteen years and grab my mum and cry “This! This!”), United States of Tara (pretty good) and the first three seasons of Northern Exposure (still great but not as flat-out amazing as they seemed the first time around). I tried Mad Men because everyone seems to love it, but I got distracted halfway through the first episode and haven’t bothered to go back to it yet. Maybe I just miss having a real TV? I would quite like to watch The Bill occasionally. I kind of miss adverts. I download QI sometimes and get a bit excited about the voiceover over the end credits.

And oh, I miss the cinema! But I just can’t seem to get into it in London. I haven’t found my cinema yet (comfy, arthousey, cheap, good snacks – I will accept recommendations), which means I have seen exactly FOUR (four!) new releases in the past ten months (in crappy shopping centrey places), which is unacceptable. And because release schedules are different here (Whip It won’t come out until April!) and I remain slavishly devoted to David and Margaret, I never know what to see, anyway… So I’ve been watching stuff at home. I rewatched Look Both Ways last night (still good! I got quite nostalgic about the trains – I used to catch one of those to Salisbury – look at those seat covers, etc.!) and just bought (but haven’t yet watched) a documentary called Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound. Oooooh – and as we speak, I am listening to Jarvis Cocker’s radio show on the iPlayer and he’s just mentioned the new Serge Gainsbourg biopic. Excellent!

Music-wise, I expanded my London vinyl collection slightly yesterday (bringing it to a total of 3!) and brought home my very own copy of Patti Smith’s Easter from Sister Ray Records:


It looks very nice next to Bringing it All Back Home and The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Of course, I can’t play it yet because I don’t have a turntable, but eh. Today’s featured iPod artist is, obviously, Patti Smith. Oh, watch me now…


In other news, my flatmate’s just announced her intention to move out in a month or so! So there’s the option to move into the bigger room…

Ugh, and I had to frog the red disco jumper because there was a twist in it – which I didn’t notice until I was 10 rows in. But it’s okay, I’m casting on again.

Listening to: Hot Topic – Le Tigre

It was a good weekend for movies! I also saw the excellent Itty Bitty Titty Committee:


Once you’ve all seen it, let’s open a dance club that plays Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney and pledge to write more political graffiti. (Has anyone noticed the dearth of graffiti in general lately? I used to have an on-going conversation with someone on the back of a toilet door about the legitimacy of using “slut” as an insult, but now everything seems to get painted over almost immediately. Plus, no one seems to have anything interesting to say, anyway – it’s all tags and A.B. + C.D. 4eva.)

Does anyone have any other recommendations for good feminist films?

Listening to: Grocer’s Devil Daughter – Miaow

Oh, my god. How is it that I’d never seen Wet Hot American Summer before today? It is a work of genius.

I saw Martha Wainwright at the Gov on Friday night, and it was such a great gig. I was trying to figure out the whole night why she reminded me so much of Courtney Love, and I finally figured out that it’s because I want to be her when I grow up. She is to my 28-year-old self what Courtney Love and PJ Harvey were to me as a teenager. Also, she was dressed more or less like this:

Hole 1991

I heard someone in the crowd say she was dressed like Margaret Thatcher, circa 1985. Have we forgotten the early ’90s so quickly? And Margaret Thatcher never dressed like a stewardess.

Oh, she was good. Like Rufus, she’s in love with the sound of her own voice but it’s totally justified, and it means she’s uninhibited and physical and emotive (there was dead silence from the audience when she did Stormy Weather – collective chills). (Annoyingly, there was not always dead silence the rest of the time, and I really should have said something to the idiots standing behind me.) I wish you all could’ve been there at the Gov, because she’s best appreciated in person. Here’s some YouTube stuff, but it’s comparatively crappy:

Factory, live in New York in June

– Her big band, Rufus-does-Judy version of Stormy Weather (she was just accompanied by Brad Albetta on piano on Friday night)

See Emily Play, also live in New York (featuring her cute drummer on guitar, but you can’t see him very well)

Came a Long Way with Rufus in 2005

Hard Times with Kate McGarrigle and Rufus Wainwright (in his Judy outfit – oh, those legs)

– Oh! Oh! But this is the best version ever. They’re practically babies.

Anyway, I am sewing. I’ve been sewing for some weeks now. Eventually, I will produce something wearable, I’m sure of it. Wish me luck.

Listening to: Hummer – The Smashing Pumpkins

These are the finest eight minutes and twenty-two seconds ever committed to film:


“I’d go to Egypt…with a girl.”


  • Andre Rieu – what is that all about? Why is he so insanely popular? It’s just weird.

    (Sweet Jesus! Be careful if you click on that link – the streaming audio nearly gave me a heart attack.)

  • I am collecting amusing and/or outrageously offensive Mills & Boon titles at the moment. Current favourite is Pregnancy of revenge (closely followed by The determined virgin), but I’m also compiling lists by groom’s nationality (and discovering that sheikhs, Greeks, Spaniards, “desert kings”, men of non-specific Mediterranean origin and men from the Outback are largely interchangeable – all of them seek unexpected wi[ves], convenient wi[ves], chosen wi[ves] and kept wom[e]n). Oh, couldn’t you just swoon?
  • The Vegan Festival was on Sunday, and it was great! It was bigger than last year (last year it rained, I think, because everything was squished into the Glenelg Primary School hall – this year, it sprawled across the grounds), and there was lots to see and do. My only complaint is that there were too many good places to buy lunch – there are only so many lunches one can consume in a day! So now I have to wait until next year to try the other things. (Except, of course, that next year I will actually have to go to one of these instead!) I don’t know the name of it, but the place with the lentil and spicy chickpea burgers was awesome (and did really nice cakes, too).
  • Also, I have been playing with vegan marshmallows from the Cruelty Free Shop. They’re so much fun! I’ve been microwaving them and toasting them and making biscuits (too much biscuit, not enough marshmallow, though).
  • (Argh! I hate html! This is a space!)

    Finally, what are you reading? I’ve started another Raymond Chandler book (The long goodbye), and I really like it (even though it’s essentially a pulp novel, Chandler uses the most beautiful language – and Marlowe is just cool), but I’m also on the lookout for something else. Any recommendations? I’m open to anything.

    P.S. I needed a break from blogging because I was becoming self-conscious and weird about it, but hello there, I’m back.

    P.P.S. Siamese Dream, with fresh ears, is quite good. Quoting the lyrics, though, makes me feel awkward and fourteen.

    Listening to: It’s Too Late – 7 Year Bitch

    Hello! Hello!

    I’m at the old house to collect the modem and take it to the new place – fingers crossed that I can figure out the networking stuff and get the printer going and so on. Anyway, no exciting news or links, but I do have a request: do any of you know of any good resources to do with emigrating? They don’t even need to be specifically related to the UK or Europe, just general info or stories (fiction, even) would be good, as I’m just looking to get myself in the right frame of mind at this stage. I’ve found lots of travel guides, but I’m clearly not using the right keywords for anything more long-term.

    I have budgeted and set a new date, and I aim to head overseas at the beginning of September 2009! Which is much later than I’d originally planned, but you know, there were hiccups. At least this way I can be absolutely 100% prepared and not have to come home with my tail between my legs after two months (right?).

    Anyway, that’s my news. The new house is cramped (we have too much furniture for so few people), but comfortable, and I think it’s going to be really nice once spring gets here and we actually have a chance to see it during daylight.

    Oh! The new Martha Wainwright album, I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too, is very good – especially her cover of Love is a Stranger (how is it that, even though I have never been especially conscious of them or known any hardcore fans or anything, I always seem to know all the words to Eurhythmics songs? Is it subliminal? Was There Must Be An Angel secretly piped into our bedrooms as we slept during the ’80s?). The new Billy Bragg album, on the other hand, is just okay, but I blame Grant Showbiz. The material is good, he’s awesome live, it’s just that the production sucks the life out of it all (I had this problem with England, Half English, too, and Don’t Try This at Home).

    And obviously I haven’t been reading the internet much lately (I am reading a good book, The Journey Home by Olaf Olafsson – that Guardian article piqued my interest about things Icelandic), but this Jezebel post caught my attention: the New York Times magazine interviews Patti Smith about her hair care routine.

    Also, I finally saw the Sex and th City movie yesterday – thoughts? (I know Rad didn’t want to be spoiled, so I don’t want to openly discuss it if no one has seen it yet.)

    Listening to: Itsuko Got Married – Bearsuit

    Oh! Oh! In my defence, my computer has been packed away while the house has been open for inspection. How have you all been?

    I have a cold again, which is very annoying.

    Yesterday, I saw My Brother is an Only Child, which was fairly enjoyable but not earth-shatteringly brilliant (I think I lost track of what was going on at some point, because some things towards the end puzzled me – or maybe I just agree with David Stratton).

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