idling away

Aug. 3rd, 2011 01:38 pm
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Marking time at the office, nothing much to do, all alone... I'm sitting in someone else's room so I can answer the phone if anyone should call...

... so I'm taking this opportunity to read up on [info]egghunter's Chernobyl project. Fascinating, scary and heart-breaking, all in one. Can't wait for the exhibition to start.

Also bbc world service on the speakers. Later, a meeting with Club Cosmos; hey, maybe I should check up on our finances so I have something to report! *checks internet bank services*

Otherwise it's Sherlock Holmes on TV, Sherlock Holmes on radio and Sherlock Holmes on the printed page. And I'm not even being obsessive!
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I'm literally sickened of the atrocities in Norway. Almost 100 ppl killed, too much to take in.

So it's a relief to talk to sane ppl, first at Bohus fästning and the medieval fair yesterday, and later at a pub downtown. It was extra fun that [personal profile] therru was there, it's been far too long. Love the geeking-out.

More "Sherlock Holmes" from 1953-4 -- pundits in books claim it is a silly version and its Watson does not acquit himself well, but I like it. It has considerable charm and the two leads work very well together. So there! Pundits hardly ever agree with me, anyway.
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Our local watering-hole, SF-bokhandeln (science fiction bookstore), has this last week celebrated its ten-year anniversary in Gothenburg. (That means it was brand new during Lexx-o-Rama 2001!) There have been events at the store, including Skype interviews with famous writers. On Saturday, several dressing-up societies were invited to help create atmosphere; Mithlond and the 501st Legion answered the call. So there were Hobbits and Stormtroopers giving the holidaymakers embarrassed smiles as they passed by. Well, most of them wanted to be photographed with Lord Vader and various troopers, who must have sweated horribly in the sunshine...

But yesterday, wow, the main event for die-hard geeks! Ola had rented a plex at Biopalatset, where he showed the full Branney&Leman HPLHS oeuvre, from a not-too-embarrassing student film from 1988 based on "The Statement of Randolph Carter", via the mockumentary about a failed production of "A Shoggoth on the Roof", "The Call of Cthulhu" which still is fantastic given the non-budget -- and the secret bonus film!

This one mustn't be named, at least not until its offical Swedish release. We were given strict instructions to say we saw it in Copenhagen if we _must_ give the title. I'll just point to the HPLHS site and leave it nameless. It was slicker than "Cthulhu" but could have benefitted from its length, tightening the story. It was a Mythoscope talkie, but the action ending seemed more 1950s fright fest than 1930s noir. Still, it had Charles Fort in it! I'm reading Fort even as we speak... well not at this actual moment of typing, but you know what I mean.

Ola then hinted at the possibility of more Lovecraftian film horrors in the future. Excellent! I laughed maniacally all the way home through the sudden downpour.

***

And then I saw "Torchwood: Miracle Day" episode one, the American version. Yay, "Hanteringen av odöda" Russell Davies-style! I liked it.

***

I'm also watching an old "Sherlock Holmes" TV series, with Ronald Howard as Holmes and H Marion Crawford as Watson (if "Marion" isn't embarrassing I wonder what horrible name "H" stand for, "Hilda"?). In the second episode I realised I've seen this before, probably when I was a kid in the 70s. Very familiar. The first three episodes were very good, Watson forceful and putting up with no nonsense from Holmes, but then the fourth episode was quite... bad. Hope that was an exception or the remaining 36 episodes will be just painful.

More Holmes in the offing, as the one glance at Amazon to buy an "ID4" novelisation about the early work of Dr Okun turned into quite a shopping binge. Yes, we gathered to see that classic movie, now 15 years old, on the fourth of July. Hamburgers, American beer and whisky, and some very harmless fireworks too. But we did _not_ go quietly at all!

Also, Bill Pullman is in the new "Torchwood", haha. Quite creepy he was too...
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Frankenstein last week was pretty awesome, mainly because of the two leads. The supporting cast wasn't very exciting. The creature part was a sort of mix between freaky-dance and Smike in the old Nicholas Nickleby production (which I'm currently re-watching, and enjoying hugely). A very physical part, so it must be nice for the two leads to alternate between creature and Victor. In this performance, Cumberbatch was the creature. And almost completely naked too, ooo. Still, quite hideous to look at.

Must see more of these live-broadcasts!

The next day, Friday, was pretty boring as I had absolutely nothing to do at work. So I spent the day reorganising my collection of OTR Sherlock Holmes mp3:s. I also finished a book about Holmes on screen, an exhaustive listing of all the movies and tv shows starring the great detective up to 2003. Boy, there hasn't been a single decade without loads of Holmes productions, and he's still just as popular as ever. Talk about staying power. And the same is true for audio, there's no end of canonical or fanonical (if you will) productions, still going strong.

OTR

Feb. 17th, 2011 09:24 am
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Good thing we have a fast connection here at work! The last couple of days I've filled my iPod (besides Dr Who, of course) with these goodies:

lots of various Sherlock Holmes radio shows

more old Sherlock Holmes stuff

Mercury Theatre on the air

Oooo! Old time radio! Now I just need to stop watching dvd:s (even more Sherlock Holmes in various incarnations) to listen to it all.

Also, iTunes is dangerous. The temptations in it! There go all the money...
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omg it's a whole week since I saw "Sherlock Holmes"!

*remedies*

books

May. 30th, 2010 04:42 pm
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I've finally finished "The Original Illustraded Strand Sherlock Holmes The Complete Facsimile Edition", a thick book with small print. It took me almost six months... and was well worth it! Those stories still hold up.

And every time I rewatch the Downey/Law movie I heart Irene Adler more and more. She's brilliant!

Now I can at last read something else, and why not something by the guest of honour at our next SF convention, Justina Robson? I was just out and bought the slimmest volume I could find, on the principle that I might be able to finish it before she gets here. One can always hope, I guess.

Right now I'm a very slow reader, due to too many things to watch, like "Cosmos" which is still brilliant. I can well understand why I loved it so much as a kid. But I'm a pretty slow reader anyways; unlike most ppl, I must read every word, not throw one glance at a page and get the gist or indeed full contents of it. I can't understand how that is done! A slow perusal of every line, sometimes every letter, is my method. At least I don't have to look at every word backwards, or count the letters, as I did during a period when I was a kid. That was annoying and time-consuming. But just glancing at a page and getting what is said there... impossible!

How do you lot read? Word-for-word or big-picture, as it were?
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I have "Sherlock Holmes"! And I've just watched it again, muahaha, and laughed. Fun!

In fact I've watched a slew of Holmes movies recently. "A Study in Terror" was rather bad, but it _was_ from 1965. It showed. It's another Jack the Ripper story and a lot more lurid than later ones. A few days ago I watched "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" from 1970, which I liked a lot, even though Watson got rather annoying towards the end. Christopher Lee as Mycroft, how'bout that, and the Loch Ness monster no less! Plus if the Downey/Law movie is slashy, this one is more text than subtext...

Still got the Cyberman version with Dominic Keating to watch. But perhaps later. There's so much to watch! And to read!

Yesterday was the Big Book Exchange Day here, and the tolkienists had a small get-together at a central café to exchange books. I brought some to work too, and the net result was a decided minus for me, yay. That is to say, I took less books home than I brought out.

Speaking of tolkienists, I went to Sthlm on Saturday to their big Spring party there. Boy was it Spring! We left from 10C Gbg and arrived at 25C Sthlm... bringing clothes for chilly climates. Stifle! Sweat! But it was a fun party, maybe slightly because I consumed a whole bottle of red wine and quite a lot of whisky, plus Gimli gave me free drinks in the bar. Whee!

Just slightly tired the next day, which involved a seven-hour car journey home. Having to be funny, interesting and _social_ for seven hours... with someone who confessed to being infatuated with me, I slowly gathered after a while. Ugh. From now on I'll always go by train, it only takes three hours and you don't have to _talk_.

Work is slightly hysterical again, but what can one expect when two days a week are removed from proper working hours. Yesterday we had an interesting lecture day, about rock bolting and shotcrete, and today we went on a mini-conference to a spa hotel in Varberg. "Muscle harmony exercises" -- doesn't it sound a lot like slow, easy yoga? It's not, it's a full-blown gym session. Ow! But the saunas and bubble pools afterwards were very nice.

And the weather is still wonderful. Warm and sunny, with occasional explosive thunder storms. The bbqs are out today, as our shorts and t-shirts. Aah. Hopefully no heavy rainclouds on Sunday, when we're going on a picnic in Slottsskogen. But hey, that would be traditional so why not. "Picnic? Bring hip-waders!"
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/me watches "Murder by Decree"

I'm pretty sure I've seen this one before but I have no memory of it -- and that's a shame because it was an excellent movie. I can understand those who claim it's the best Sherlock Holmes movie made yet. What a line-up! Christopher Plummer as Holmes, James Mason doing the best ever Watson, there's Donald Sutherland, Anthony Quayle, John Gielgud... I've never really liked Genevieve Bujold but she was the next best thing in it, after Mason.

Recently I bought a slew of Holmes movies, most of which I've seen before, way back. Like "Young Sherlock Holmes", or as I knew it when it was in the theatres, "Pyramid of Fear". It still works, a silly pre-Potter Chris Columbus thing with its heart in the right place. Plus very early CGI that still looks fresher than most computer stuff these days. Kinda like "Jurassic Park" which is still my favourite CGI movie.

The other day I re-saw "Without a Clue", where Ben Kingsley's Watson is the crime genius and Michael Caine the failed actor he hires to front as Holmes, sort of like Remington Steele. This one hadn't aged with quite as much dignity as the others.

Now I find myself counting days until I get my copy of the Downey/Law vehicle, instead of counting weeks as I have been lately. I guess I like that movie a lot more than I thought at the first viewing. On this "Murder by Decree" disc there was a trailer for "Chaplin" and it looks like I have to check it out too.

Right after "Image of the Fendahl" which is in the other DVD driver. Must watch lots!

Oh and reading Holmes, I've just passed "The Valley of Fear" which lacks Holmes for half of it and that makes it a chore to read, but after that came "His Last Bow", the WWI spy adventure which is just wonderful.
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What a lovely day! Instead of spending the weekend indoors, watching TV or reading "Sherlock Holmes" or just doing nothing, like I usually do, I did like a big part of Gbg and went to the Botanical Garden.

Aaah, pretty spring flowers, tiny tender new leaves on the trees, and birdsong. I spent ten minutes on a log just listening to a blackbird doing impossible warbles and imitating, among other things, a Nokia ringtone. Then for some ice cream and ambling back downtown before going home to... watch TV, read "Sherlock Holmes" and do nothing much.

Which includes wondering what last night's "Doctor Who" was about, really. A bit of a puzzler! Also been rewatching some "due South", fr'instance the episode "Eclipse". You know, the one where Ray lurks in a crypt, the one with a statue, of an angel, a weeping angel... Yeah you get it, slight Who OD. Which isn't helped by Matt Smith also being in "Party Animals" on Fridays. How adorable he is!

*glimpse at TV* wtf?! The White House interior designer, it says in Kobra, with some hideous bird sculputer with Kermit the Frog on top. And she lifts a wing on the bird, saying "And the stomach is full of booze" -- it's a liquor cabinet! Oy, if the White House contains such things, it's no wonder American politics goes insane.
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I'm reading the complete Sherlock Holmes stories -- and it's brilliant!

How long ago was it I read them? Ten years, twenty? Far too long, anyway! It's on a par with the latest brilliant-reads, like Fritz Leiber and Lord Dunsany. Much better to read that book than to watch TV. Well, that would be the Jeremy Brett "Holmes"...

No, I'm not entirely honest there. I happened to watch the start of a French action movie yesterday, "Banlieu 13", and couldn't stop watching. What fun! Ridiculously macho, like a Tarantino-Jackie Chan-parkour mashup. Haha.

Also "The Legend of the Seeker", guest-starring Ted Raimi. It is _so_ "Xena". The girl in it has a very nice coat-dress. Who is costume designer? Not Ngila Dickson surely, she must have gone on to the big things after "LotR". *and now the mp3-player plays music from "Xena", how appropriate*

After eating far too much yesterday, I went out to get some exercise on the icy streets of Göteborg, and to hunt for lace. I've been commissioned to design a "hushållsplutt", ie a badge for a tolkienist, and after much soul-searching have come to the conclusion that a classic is best: lace and leather (or soft skin), in the shape of a rose. So, where to find lace?

Thrift shops! called "fleasies" in Swedish (loppis). Or, since I couldn't find anything in the two local ones, our version of Oxfam (Myrorna). But I got rather more than I went out for, since there apparently is a steampunk ball at Eastercon. Mmm, too tight clothing in a vaguely 19th-century style...

Also Ahmad tea, Wil Wheaton's "Just A Geek" and the DVD "Dresden Files". Plus I got to talk to The Mighty Beard! What a day. Now I can relax and get into gear for tomorrow's tolkienist annual Big Meet.
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Yay, an episode of "Sherlock Holmes" that I missed last year, because the DVD player decided it didn't want to run it! And it had Ian Marter in it too, haha.

***

Meetings galore here, and then tomorrow we have an "open house" for clients and customers. Gotta make a quiz for it! Like, "what was Bergab's first project", "who are these strange ppl in old photos?" and "what departments do we have now?"

At least I got the office library up and running in time for it. All I need now are plastic VHS covers, which I will acquire later today. Unless I get stuck in a wet snow-drift. Man it's disgusting weather out there! The wet snow or water-with-texture effectively hides the ice sheets that cover the sidewalks, brrr.

***

Addict-a-ball! I brought it to work yesterday, to spread the poison. Muahaha.
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One of the reasons I bought a spotlight for my bed was so that I could read my very fine-print sort of facsimile copy of original Strand Magazine "Sherlock Holmes" book. With my old light I just couldn't make out the text. Super-squint! So now I spend my late evenings alternately listening to the 8th Doctor adventures on the iPod, and re-reading Conan Doyle. Maybe that's why I'm always so sleepy in the morning...

Or perhaps it's just work. I've started to dream about the office library, which I've spent the last couple of weeks re-organising. But the end is in sight! Oh the end is nigh!

*looks at TV* Hey, seems like Southafrican trains run on electricity too, just like ours. There's, er, "kontaktledningar" along the tracks, but they look slightly different from ours.

Where they don't have overhead lines is for steam engines, like in the Jeremy Brett "Holmes" which I'm of course watching again. So brilliant! Just look at all those late-19th century dresses. Did they plunder some other TV show's wardrobe for it, or did they have a superduper budget for that series? For a mid-80s show, it really looks very good.

Also I watched "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow", which was stolen from me last year on the train. Stupid thieves! I tried to watch it once and went "Meeeh..." but this time it was a lot of fun. Maybe it's because of the wine? Mmm, Angelina with an eye-patch... or with anything... or _without_ anything! Hrm, anyway...

Now time for bed, so I can get up in time for a board meeting at 1100hr. I mean come on! I'm hardly awake at that time on a Saturday! Oyyyy!
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Yesterday I saw Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus". Wow! A real Gilliam film -- weird, amazing and fantastic. Hard to describe but I think it's a story about freedom. I thought I had it figured out until the Heath Ledger/Johnny Depp/Jude Law/Colin Farrell character suddenly went off in a different direction at the end. Tom Waits made the best Devil I have ever seen and Christopher Plummer... well that name is a praise in itself isn't it? And the sceneries, oh fantabulous.

While waiting for that movie, I passed the time at the same multiplex with "Sherlock Holmes", again. Heh, I can't look at Big Ben now without expecting it to get hit by an alien craft.
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The weather services claim it's getting warmer, close to 0 degrees C. Thus, yesterday I went without the longjohns and -shirt. Big mistake! I haven't been that cold all winter! So today it was back with the silk underwear, and they really are the most amazingly good things to wear. Cool yet not cold. Wow. Thanks therru for pointing them out!

***

It's been a while, but right now I've gone berserk on amazon again. Mmm, all those old Sherlock Holmes movies I've been meaning to get but haven't gotten around to until now... All of it non-Doyle stuff too. Plus "The Web of Fear" again -- let's hope this time I actually get the Dr Who soundtrack and not something else like last time I ordered it and got... "Gone With the Wind" soundtrack. O_o how did they figure that?

***

The danger of watching all of "Black Books": when it's over I want to start over again right away. It's addictive! Got to get myself a Fran icon, she's brilliant. Or rather, Tamsin Greig is brilliant. Heart!

***

And all of this feels pretty lame and mean when the news shows the devastation in Haiti. Boy am I glad I don't live there! Or at any other place that isn't middle-class Sweden. I've got a job that is actually rewarding, not just money-wise; I've got a flat (although it's tiny) and enough money to buy all the food I need; I'm completely normal and average, no one is persecuting me; my society is one of the best-functioning ones in the world; climate and tectonics are mild and still. Thank the maker!
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I've been watching "Black Books" again lately, and laughing out loud at Fran. She's brilliant!

And it struck me that the new "Sherlock Holmes" can be compared to it. Now don't get me wrong, I liked that movie a lot; it just hasn't anything to do with the original Conan Doyle works. Anyway, Robert Downey's Holmes is a lot like Bernard Black with skillz, isn't he? That would make Jude Law into Manny (facial hair and all) and wossername the girl into Fran (she's a lot of fun, that works too). How'bout that, victorian!AU "Black Books"!

Haha!

And soon there's going to be "Midsomer Murders" in both SVT1 and TV3, at exactly the same time. What are the odds!
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So I went to the dog fair on Saturday -- 3hr of dogs in all sizes, colours and temperaments, plus their humans. Which is the most entertaining? Sometimes it's hard to tell. Many cute dogs too; I still think if I wanted a pedigree dog (and not a "just a dog" dog, i.e. a mongrel), it would be a Dansk-svensk gårdshund, like Kvik in "Matador". And I still think the best thing with these fairs is the agility contest, where lots of tiny to midsize dogs whizzzz around an obstacle course barking like mad because it's just so darned fun!

Also there was a stage play where the actors were all dogs... again something like agility, or rather a circus act, where dogs and their humans had fun together. The story was Cinderella, in Swedish "Askhunden". Would that be "Dogerella", or rather "Cinderdog"?

And the vendors. Oh the vendors...

After three hours I was tired and went to the movies. It was almost sold out. Why were all the other ppl there? I was there because of the rumoured slash content, and because it said "Sherlock Holmes" on the tin. But I'm afraid I was rather disappointed on both counts. Featuring cultists, a crowd of literary characters including a feisty woman and loving paintings of a London skyline full of cranes of drifting smoke, this movie should have been called "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", and then it would have been good (much better than the Sean Connery vehicle). But with the current title, I'm sorry, it's just _wrong_. That's nowhere near the "real" Holmes, never mind the random quotes and nods to Conan Doyle's characterisation! Argh bloody writers! But the acting was OK, I really like Jude Law's Watson. Heh, that seems to be a recurring theme in latter-day Holmes productions: the Watson is good, sometimes much better than the Holmes.

Jeremy Brett still rules supreme as the best screen Holmes.

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