Sunday, January 18, 2009

More crime books

I believe I may have pointed out before that I don't read many crime books. I had another go a couple of weeks ago with Tokyo Year Zero by David Peace. Eoghan gave me this book for Christmas 07, and I just got around to it now. That gives you an idea of the rate at which I'm ploughing through books.

Anyway, I didn't like Tokyo Year Zero. His writing style irritated me. It was too sing-song and repetitive; too much poetry and not enough prose. I know that's the point. I know it was probably supposed to signify something about feeling trapped and the claustrophobia of the destroyed city and the endless grind of being a police investigator, but it was too much style and not enough content for me. It also had that feature of crime novels that I hate, when there's some really important and pertinent piece of evidence that will tie the whole case together, and it's hinted a lot, and everyone knows what it is except the reader. That always seems kind of lazy to me, like using pure coincidence to drive a story forwards all the time.

So I gave it up after about 100 pages, and I decided that I would give the George P. Pelecanos book that I bought months ago a shot at the title. If I don't like this, I thought, that is officially it, I will officially give up on crime books.

And now I'm wondering why I'm sitting here blogging about this, when I could be READING GEORGE PELECANOS.

Friday, January 16, 2009

It seems we have bought a bank

This is great news, given that we are currently €50 overdrawn after Christmas, and will have to buy this week's shopping on the credit card.

Oh, hang on a minute...

I've just been informed that this is not how it works.

Still, what could possibly go wrong, eh?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ukulele update

Last night I learned a new chord, and acquainted myself with three others. That's four chords I have full knowledge of now, and can play and everything, even though moving between them still takes a little longer than is decent in polite society.

I can now play "Happy Birthday" and "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" and can slowly finger-pick my way through part of "Wipeout". This is the most proficient I've been on a musical instrument since I learned the tin whistle in second class (aged seven, for those of you who don't know what second class is).

Now I want to learn grown-up songs, but I don't understand this tablature thing, and I still can't read music, so I can only learn to play songs I already know. I'm thinking that "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" would be a good candidate, because it's actually got a pretty simple beat, even though the melody is quite complicated. If anyone knows where I can get the ukulele chords for this song, please let me know. If you also know any songs that just have C, C7, G7, F, and Dm, please tell me, because these are the chords I know best.

Wishful Drinking

ComedyB and BuntyB bought me this for Christmas. I wanted to like it very much, for two reasons. a) I really love Carrie Fisher and think she's a good writer; b) it's a long time since someone bought me a book that I'd never even heard of, but that would be so much up my street.

Sadly the book's not great.

It grew out of her one-woman show of the same name, and as such is very conversational and breezy. She talks about her family life, her addictions, her bipolarism, her marriages, and, of course, being Princess Leia. Many of the stories are very funny, and her confused style of writing (which she attributes to the fact that she's had electric shock treatment, which has messed with her memory) is enjoyable. However, none of the Star Wars stories she tells are new, and there's too much gushing and recapping for a book; this might be fine on stage, but in a 115-page book (maybe she wrote it as her nanowrimo book?) it takes up too much space.

In other words, it's a book that makes me wish I'd seen the show. But I'm glad to have it. I'm glad to have Carrie Fisher.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Resolution update

I got last week's work all done in the allotted time. It was great. I spent the whole weekend ARSING ABOUT with Mister Monkey instead of scrambling to get work done.

And I got all today's work done in the allotted time also.

I reckon if I keep this up I will deserve a holiday somewhere nice. Perhaps in June sometime. Perhaps.