Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gratuitous post in order to include CUET photo

So I finally bought one of those quilted mattress topper things for our bed, and we have started getting up half an hour later in the morning as a direct result. Yesterday I threatened Mister Monkey that if he did not get up and make my breakfast IMMEDIATELY, the mattress topper would be removed and only reinstated at weekends and holidays.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Emergency care package arrives

Life on Mars finished last night, causing great sadness in the Monkey House. And, as mentioned before, The Sopranos is also finishing soon. Rome is gone, as is Studio 60 (even if it was rubbish, and still has not officially been cancelled). What's a monkey to do?

Luckily, a care package arrived from the Glasgow House this morning, containing several budget movies on DVD, including Paint Your Wagon, Sunset Boulevard, and Gunfight at the OK Corral. It also contained a Dr. Who box set of The Keeper of Traken, Logopolis, and Castrovalva, which are the episodes where Tom Baker turned into Tristan off All Creatures Great and Small, and which were some of my very favourite episodes when I was a kid. It's all about the scary robot.

I've also got the first four seasons of NewsRadio winging their way to me from the U.S. So, the telly wasteland between May and September can be negotiated safely once again. Phew.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Between wanting to rush all the way to the end of something you're really enjoying because you want to know WHAT HAPPENS, DAMMIT! and wanting to savour every last little bit, because you're aware that when it's over, it's over, and you can never again experience it for the first time.

Things that fall into this category include:
  • The Aubrey Maturin novels
  • The super expensive posh chocolates that the housemates bought me for my birthday
  • The just-started-last-night final episodes of The Sopranos
I don't want it to be over.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Will Ferrell is a boring man whose life is the same every single day. He is alone most of the time, but there is no real sense that he is lonely. Then things start to happen to him that could reasonably be called the beginnings of a story, and suddenly a woman's voice starts narrating his life. It's hard to know which comes first. To tell anything else about the film would be to ruin it, really.

Stranger Than Fiction got okay but not great reviews when it came out, and although I can kind of understand why--there are some bits that could maybe be trimmed from it, the wristwatch as framing device could maybe use a little tweaking and may not work for everyone, and there does seem to be some discussion about the ending--it is basically an excellent film. It's funny and sweet, beautifully shot in bizarrely utilitarian locations around Chicago, and it features some lovely quiet acting by a cast you would normally think of as being pretty hammy. It has one of those modern Brian Reitzell hand-picked soundtracks, which makes it seem a little bit like Lost in Translation at times, but without the incredibly boring bits. It's also got a lot of self-referential and post-modern stuff about the construction of stories in it, but without the kind of DO YOU SEE shiteing on of something like (oh god, how I loathe it) Shakespeare in Love.

Also it has Tony Hale in it, who I consider a mark of quality.

This goes up there as one of the lovely stories, for me anyway.

Did you have a good Friday?

Ours was brilliant. There have been a lot of miserable and even slightly down posts on this blog of late, but yesterday was brilliant, I'm happy to report. Not that anything even slightly exciting happened to us. Friends from the Big City visited us, and I had homemade banana bread to give them (even if they didn't actually want it). We spent several hours getting our garden ready to grow things in, and it actually looks half decent now, instead of the bizarre obstacle course of winter buildup and shaggy grass that was there yesterday morning. And the sun shone, and we watched an excellent film, and drank some nice wine, and even our neighbours who had a party last night weren't too loud and didn't keep us awake too late.

It was good.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I has groomin

Everybody has things they like to spend money on, occasional indulgences that they would, if they had shedloads of cashcould, do all the time. False nails, valeted car, that kind of thing.

I have just discovered that if I had pots of cash, I would send my dogs here once a month to be groomed. They look great, they smell amazing (for exactly three days, as it turns out, until they roll in horse poo again), and the women who work there genuinely seem to enjoy the company of wet, waggy dogs. €70 for two dogs was money well spent, especially as it means Cody won't be too hot in the exciting warm spring weather. It's going to be 18 degrees today! Mental.

See if you can spot the difference between pre-and post-grooming dog. I'll give you a clue: pre-groomed also includes flob on nose bridge.

Oh yes, my house is clean.

Master and Commander

There are times in a person's life when, for one reason or another, she is a little low. It could be that she's been coughing constantly and violently for four months and has recently been to the doctor and received a tentative diagnosis of possible asthma, with the recommendation that she gets rid of her cats. It could be that her house is still crowded and her parents have been in and out of hospital for minor procedures that could turn into major procedures down the line. It could be that she hasn't really been doing a whole lot of anything lately and just feels a bit meh.

At times like these, a person needs to re-read Master and Commander. There just is no finer antidote to a dose of the meh. If you are a regular reader of this blog, or anyone who has come into casual contact with me over the last few years, you already know how I feel about this book and the books that follow it. I will simply remind you, therefore, of the tender friendships and the sharp humour, the nautical noise and the naturalistic quiet, and the bright fresh air of the open sea.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007