Monthly Archives: February 2013

90s British Comedy Shows

I have had, at my request, a few blog titles suggested to me. One of them was this one, 90s British Comedy. After researching it for five minutes, I realised that the only good way to deal with this topic was to post clips, and let them speak for themselves. Anything else is just redundant whining liable to get Charlie Brookner complaining about me on the couch.

“I want to know what the hell was she thinking?”

Enjoy.

Ab Fab

Sweetie sweetie sweetie!

 

men behaving badly

“Ah Kylie….”

 

bread

“I want to be a model!”

 

Mr. Bean

…no, I have nothing….

 

Spaced

“Men telepathy”

Blackadder

 

“Bury me in a Y-Shaped Box?”

So, here’s the thing.

So, okay, recently I turned forty.

Yes, I know. Forty.

There really is no way around it, I’m old. No, don’t bother contradicting that one, it is fairly much programmed into my cells that I’m past it. I can confirm to myself that I’m in good (enough) health, that I have vigour, strength and a fair amount of humour to keep me going, but the fact remains:

You say ‘Forty’ and I see this.

A slow unavoidable decline into the darkness that is old age. (I’m saving the ‘D’ word for another post)

I’m surrounded by friends of the same age, who are equally lovely, smart and vivacious, and that is a comfort – life is not over, merely moved to a more mellow key. The speedy, at times thoughtless velocity of youth moves into a more thoughtful, slower middle age*. I am very, very glad that the huge gaping mistakes and gaffs of my youth are not my common experience any more. My older self looks back at the rather fantastic size of my youthful mistakes and cringes. But still. Still.

Surely youthful passion will overcome any and all lack of preparation! Now, let us rock on, youngsters!

It seems that I have, yet again, another element of my personality, existence, what have you, that I have trouble accepting. Whoopee. If that doesn’t happen every Tuesday already. Nonetheless, I hesitate to end the blog on a depressed note. So I leave you with this musical number. A big hit in, you guessed it, the year I was born. Enjoy.

David Bowie – The Jean Genie – 01-1973

*(I’m middle aged. Dear God.)

Wanting

Temptation

You may have seen from other previous posts that I was a bit worried about my weight. One other thing that added to that was all the lovely Mummy forums online, who insist that you should not worry about your weight once the baby arrives, even if it takes six months to get back into your old clothes. Seeing as I had a seven month old and I was still turning sideways to get through doors, it seemed wise to take the matter in hand and go on a diet for God’s sake.

So I went on the Ketogenic diet. This is very close to the Atkins diet Induction stage, but it doesn’t have a limit, you merely keep to the diet until you’re done. I’ve done very well on it, in that I have lost 30lbs since November. It is a matter of some distress to note I still have a huge amount of weight to lose, in that I still have about about another 30lbs to go. However, at least we’re now getting somewhere, and not contemplating chucking ourselves under the Dart (only to find the damn thing couldn’t go over us we’re so fat,  leading to a bored announcement over the tannoy that there was a piece of lard on the line causing a disruption to service, but Dublin Bus would honour the tickets, while all the well dressed commuters would give loud tuts as they passed said mortified fatty on their way out of the station, while the security guard would lean down saying, ‘Come on love, lets be having you’ until he called over his mate because my size and girth was just beyond him. Ah Jesus just shoot me!)

ANYWAY. Lardy went on a diet. A strict diet. So no flour, no starches, no carbs, meaning no potatoes, no pasta, no rice, no noodles. No bread. No sugar of any kind so no fruit (which contains fruitose). What I can have is meat, poultry, green veg, eggs and dairy, but only to a set carb amount each day.  This diet has led to a lot of weight loss. I’m also back swimming three times a week. So I hope to keep going until at least the summer until things have removed themselves from horror fantasy land.

However, biscuits. Remember them? The Alton Brown inspired treats that I adore? I crave them. Crave them the way Bill Compton craves blood, crave them the way Victoria Beckham craves class, crave them the way the cold craves heat. Crave crave crave. So when my husband said he was getting me some from the Market, please forgive me dear Reader, I was powerless to say no. ‘Don’t get me some!’ I cried, in a tone of voice that said ‘For God’s sake get up and get me some!’ Away he went to hunt and gather. I honestly found it hard to focus on my bundle of joy I was so looking forward to them. Should I have one and save the rest? Or should I have them all, and eat them quickly to get them over with? And what the hell was taking him so long?!!

He got home, and came in with something to eat for himself. Only after half an hour did I ask him where they were, and then I rushed out to get one for myself. Just one, on a saucer for me. And I bit into it.

Humans live in an objective world, with the imposition of our subjective understanding onto it. That means that we can live quite happily in our own minds without really interacting clearly with reality. When it happens that the two interact, it can be a charring experience. I really wanted those biscuits. Wanted them until I was breathless. But like so much of life, the want was subjective. The expectation of them was built up hugely in my mind. The actual experience of them was objective, was ordinary. It was a biscuit.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice biscuit. But it was’t the mental reward or the congratulation I somehow had made it out to be. It wasn’t an emotional experience, it was just a biscuit.

I put the question to those on Facebook; what should I do with the other three? The general consensus was to go Cookie Monster Style on them. But the biscuits, like David Bowie’s somewhat dodgy Goblin King from Labyrinth, had no power over me. They were just biscuits. I ate two more, saved the last one for breakfast.  Back to the diet as of today.

Fiction Open Mic.

Just managed to come up with a story line involving love, betrayal and a sad but sweet ending, just by looking at this little fella for a while.

The little man.

The little man.

Any one else want to offer their version? Think of this as a fiction open mic.

True Blood

This is a very random blog, in that I don’t normally write out the floatsom and jetsom of my mind. But this is an idea that is becoming more rounded in my mind and it is an idea I will never write, so I’m going to write it out, send it on the sea and to have it made free to someone else out there.

Here is how I would write out the story of True Blood.

For those of you who don’t know the story, this series of books written by Charlaine Harris describes a society where vampires are shown to be real. The story focuses on the life of Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress, who forms a relationship with one of them, and who becomes aware of their lives and their battles. As the novels go on, she goes on to become aware of werewolves, other telepathic people like herself, and a whole host of strange characters. Sookie is regarded as an important character in the novels but her interaction is with most of them is usually sexual. She moves towards her lover in the first few novels, and then moves away from him towards other novels. She is a figure of desire for many vampires who hope to exploit her. She’s desired, but in many ways very unaware as a character.

File:Sookie (TB).jpg

Sookie Stackhouse [a failed opportunity]

And here’s what I would do if I was given such a background story.

Firstly, there is no curiosity on the part of Sookie about life. She walks through the new society she has discovered but never asks herself about it. Why do vampires live so long? Why do they need blood to survive? Why is pushing a stake thorough their heart enough to see their body completely disintegrate? And why does silver stop them in their track, to the extend that they can’t move at all?

In my opinion, vampires, for Harris, seem very close to spiders.

How ya doing, Sookie?

They have only one major organ. If you fail to hurt them in their heart they can’t be killed. They move incredibly fast and mostly are very much predators. A body of a spider is mostly organs in blood, there is very little in the way of muscles other than those on the exoskeleton. Spiders are resistant to a great deal, can’t really be drowned, and can only be killed by destroying the organs, the limbs don’t affect mortality. Both of them are effected by light. And crucially, spiders are real, it is realistic (at least in fiction), to have a person change from one form of humanity to another if they follow this model. Vampires for Harris are not mythical, so creating a real reason for their existence would be important. That just leaves silver.

Silver. So now you know.

Silver, for one reason or another, is important here. Vampires are pinned down by it; if you put one on a vampire they have to lie there, prone, while it burns into their skin. Why silver? Well, look into it, and silver has some interesting qualities.  It has the highest electrical conductivity of all metals, has the highest thermal conductivity and one of the highest optical reflectivities (thanks Wikipedia). So Harris  is actually on to something here, there is more to think about here. But I got as far as book five and didn’t see anything about all this in it. So here is what I would do.

What if all this Vampire society was discovered, just like in Harris’ book? But instead, a scientist, an amateur scientist, reads all about this and starts looking into all this? Say, for example, they discover the dislike of silver, and manage to use it to create a way of protecting one’s skin from Vampire attack (they’re still predators, remember). What if they didn’t stop there, but instead managed to find out how vampires were created, a process that vampires themselves didn’t understand.

And then managed to figure out how to reverse it?

Think of what that would mean, especially when you consider that there is a fairly large metaphor in Harris’ books and in Alan Ball’s TV series of comparing Vampires to the homosexual community. What would it mean if you could reverse being a vampire? Think of those people who didn’t want to be vampires, they would now be free to reject the instincts they never wanted in the first place. But think of those who hated, and feared Vampires. They would want that ‘cure’ immediately, to ensure freedom from Vampires, to destroy that which they hate.

What would that discovery do to the life of our amateur scientist? He or she (and I’d prefer if it was a she) would almost be hunted, end up going on the run to preserve their life, and be at risk from almost everyone. I keep thinking of what they would end up saying or doing, of how they would be regarded by Vampires, by the religious right, by their old friends and neighbours? It seems to me to be an idea with more social and political comment than that the path taken by Harris. I also like the idea of it being an amateur, someone not protected by an institute, someone who is a bit of a laughing stock. Their stumbling on this idea means a huge shuddering quest being embarked on, the kind of story that could be really good.

There, that’s my idea. Commence your laughter.

Oh, Please.

So there is a new report about the Magdalene laundries. People are so shocked! So upset! They never knew we were such a country, such a cold, cruel place!

Same with the hand wringing with regard to cyber bulling. The poor little things! Such pain they must go through, how we must protect them!

Lets be clear; no one gives a damn. Not at all, not in the slightest. Oh sure, there may be quite a bit of ‘please think of the children’, but it’s all steam from a kettle in terms of permanence. And there’ll be no tenacity in terms of moves to make amends.

The Magdalene Laundries were there for generations and no one cared. They are exactly what the Catholic Church wanted and still wants, a place of punishment and confinement for women who were seen to have slighted the moral code, with no oversight or correction over the authority supervising these women. These women were, as a result, denied person-hood,  economic power, sexual rights and any element of human expression, and most of our country didn’t and doesn’t care in the slightest. These women still have no economic power, and so the powers that be will just get in their car and go home at the end of the day, with no further thought of them.

What do you think is happening to women in prisons? In mental homes? In care homes for teenagers? What do you think is happening in maternity wards, in courts, in work place environments? No one thinks of these places at all, not in the slightest. We sigh, we tut, we change the channel. And our generation will be subject to the same anger, the same accusations from our children, and we’ll say we never knew. Because we never cared to know, and that will be that.