Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
[Extremely Big Delighted Grin]. Always gratifying when someone likes your work. That has absolutely made my week...
[grin] I's finished. PC second edition is ready to go to the printer.
Only they don't work weekends, so it'll go on Monday. Which means I can have another day to read it through and see if there's anything I still need to change (which there might be after the blindingly obvious insight that hit me as I was waking up this morning, clearing up something that's been bothering me forever. No, not going to say what as it's more than likely everyone else realised it right away: I should have, and have been kicking myself all day because I didn't...)
I'm pleased with the second edition. It's much better than the first. I've bought the Wolverine DVD to celebrate.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I'd just settled down to write this morning when Kim rang, and this afternoon she drove us out to Congresbury to Cadbury Garden Centre. Picked up packets of T&H early dwarf beans, sweetcorn (a supersweet variety supposedly very reliable for English gardens: planning to try growing just a small patch next year. I love sweetcorn and bloody Tesco no longer stock their organic frozen kernels, so we haven't had any in over six months), and green manure to replenish the veg patch and hopefully help combat the weeds. Wonderful afternoon, with huge catch up chat.
[sigh] Kai is currently watching the Most Haunted Live Hallowe'en Special (eight 'til midnight). Gods I hate that programme... so I have Muse blasting through the headphones as I make the last of the PC revisions.
No post. How can you get withdrawal symptoms from the lack of something you don't yet have?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Finally got to see the Dr Who ep Planet of the Dead. Wasn't impressed, but since I haven't forgiven Davies for Children of Earth I didn't expect to be. Irritating heroine (again) and it's all too easy, isn't it? Bus out of fuel? Oh, let's cannibalise the anti-gravity drive from the crashed spaceship, that'll do the trick...
Ken thinks I'm being too hard, it's a kids' romp after all, but honestly, after outstanding classics like Blink and Midnight in the Library/Forest of the Dead it came across as tedious.
Nice flying rays though.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Hm. The revisions are proving rather more extensive than I'd originally planned, with some quite large wasteful segments coming out and substantial new elements being written in. It's much better now, although there is the risk I won't be finished by the date I promised myself. Well, if so, it's not going to cause insuperable problems, and I'd much rather make sure I'm completely happy with it before it goes to print.
On the TV front, we're only at episode 5 of Flashforward and I'm already finding it forgettable. Moonlight has too much resonance with Blood Ties, which I have and really like, for me to truly enjoy it. Warehouse 13 is still hugely enjoyable (I don't understand all the negative reviews at IMDb - it's quirky and fun, with great characters). True Blood, however, is proving itself quite a winner. I read the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse series, on which the first season is based, while writing Vampires (I need to rework that blurb, Ken wrote it and it's incomplete), and ended up giving it away as I didn't really enjoy it. But the TV series is great - even Ken is staying up to watch it (but not Kai. It's a truly adult series, even the introductory sequence!)
And I found No Heroics for half price on amazon, so that's been ordered too. I discovered it by accident earlier in the year and loved it. It's a 15, to my surprise given some of the humour, so I think Kai will be OK with it.
[grumble] But the Swamp Thing TV series' haven't arrived yet, and we now have another load of postal strikes on the way. Yes, I know I can't have them 'til Yule, but it's been agreed I can watch one (or more likely two) eps before they get wrapped up.
Which presents me with a problem. There are 49 half-hour episodes in the two boxed sets - given that K&K are going to be watching too how the hell do I choose which ones to see? The first one, The Emerald Heart, which introduces all the characters but isn't terribly flattering (or typical) of Arcane? A Jury of His Fears, which I remember as being hysterically funny? Mist Demeanour which has delicious glimpses of an almost naked Arcane (yeah, well, OK, perhaps that's one for me to watch alone...)? Walk a Mile in my Shoots, the bodyswap episode? (And yes, the series' are peppered with awful punning titles.) The terribly sad Tatania, or the completely manic Mirador's Brain? Oh decisions, decisions...
[sigh] Well, can't do anything until they get here, so it's back to Heart for now...
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tired. I shall be glad when this is done. Then I can redecorate the bathroom, paint the front door, and make a proper start on Heart...
Monday, October 26, 2009
"Where did today go??" (came the plaintive wail)
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
[sigh] And JAT is down...
Lots and lots of PC. And Return of Swamp Thing arrived this morning: we watched it after dinner. And yes, it's a much more fun film than the first, daft, silly and cheesy.
All-your-music have now confirmed posting Volumes 1 and 2 of the TV series...
Friday, October 23, 2009
Just back from watching District 9 at the Showcase.
... bloody hell...It is one of the best - if not THE best - films I've ever seen. I cannot remember the last time I spent a film on the edge of my seat and hands gripping the armrests until they hurt. I was crying at the end. And I couldn't predict what was going to happen next, or guess the ending, and that doesn't happen often these days. It starts in such an unassuming way and then the emotional intensity just builds and builds. It's densely layered, horribly realistic, sickeningly violent (but not gratuitously so, unlike that utter crap Saw 3 I suffered through 20 minutes of last night before switching off the TV in disgust), and it makes absolutely no compromises. I came out of the cinema shaking.
An obvious must-have, though perhaps not one to watch very often...
Lutra: What is it with you and psychos? : ) Joules: um - dunno... s'pose I can't be one in real life so I'll be one vicariously.I worry myself sometimes.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
... aaaaand I've just had an email to say that the seller of the Swamp Thing Vol 1 DVD set has refunded the full amount (incl postage)! Good fast service that.
Have ordered a replacement from all-your-music.
Labels: Swamp Thing TV series
[blear] The orthodontist appointment was at 8.50 this morning. I asked Ken to wake me up at 7 (I never hear the alarm unless I'm already awake, which is a bit self-defeating really...), which he did, but then discovered that he'd set the radio alarm wrongly and it was actually six am... Even though I went back to sleep for an hour, it wasn't exactly deep or restful, so I'm a bit tired now, after getting to bed at 2.30...
But the appointment went well: the teeth are going nicely into shape. The new ortho has recommended that he have the lower teeth done too, to avoid problems later in life, and since at the moment it would be covered by the current treatment (i.e. it would be free under the NHS) I think we'll go for it. Kai's not too dischuffed about the idea. So when we go back next time (during Yule holidays) we'll start that ball rolling.
Then it was back to Broadmead to make an appointment for him to have a routine eye-test - but they were so quiet we were able to go straight up. Results pretty much as expected, Kai's vision is almost perfect, and they don't want to see him now for two years.
Over to Reverb, where we picked up a stand for the bass, a couple of leads, a couple more of Kai's favourite plectrums, and a tremolo arm. And I found out that the best amp for Kai is going to cost £67 (although it does do absolutely everything) so that is going to have to wait. His little retro amp will do for now.
K&K are off down to Arnos Manor Hotel shortly, to get a few more photos for the book Ken's written about the Hotel's ghosts. I may very well have a nap, because at the moment the brain feels quite dead and I'm not accomplishing anything very useful...
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
We have finally installed and multi-region-programmed the new DVD player (bought from amazon back in April!) It's great. Now have to take the old one to the local WEEE place (it's in St George's and not easy to get to without a car, of course). Going to try to get someone on LETs...
Kai's orthodontist appointment tomorrow morning. Afterwards we're taking his electric guitar to Reverb to see if they can fit the tremolo arm, and he needs a stand for his bass guitar too. And I'll price up amps. And leads...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I swear he's planning to hibernate for the winter...
Still no reply from seller...
Monday, October 19, 2009
[grump] Still pissed off, and the seller hasn't answered yet, but it hasn't been a day yet so I will just have to possess myself in patience.
Still, I now have the ep listing, and - vaguely remembering something about them being released by Shout! from one of the IMDb comment forums (amazing what info you cn pick up over there) - I went to the site to see what's on Volume 2 - and ended up ordering it (from all-your-music via amazon. I've bought from them before and always been extremely happy with the service). It's only half of Season 3 (which was 50 eps long! Insane!) but it has some of my real faves on it. But of course, we're due a round of postal strikes, so when things will actually get delivered is an open question.
PC coming along beautifully.
The B sprog came over for the day - Kai enjoyed it. I plugged myself in and carried on working.
OK, now I am REALLY pissed off. The Swamp Thing TV series boxed set has just arrived - and the bloody discs are missing. All four of them.
Awaiting a reply from the seller.
Labels: Swamp Thing TV series
Sunday, October 18, 2009
[bemused] Had to nip down to Sainsbug's this morning...
They're selling Advent Calenders for cats. Whatever next?
And on the way back I passed two people taking their ferrets for a walk...
Back to PC. It's safer.
Labels: strangeness and charm
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Contented cat is contented.
Friday, October 16, 2009
[grump] And then, when I got there, it was just bloody promotional material I have no interest in whatsoever, with no franking or stamp. And even The Range didn't have what I wanted. What a waste of a morning.
Still, Sainsbug had their teal towels all at 10% off, so I picked up a couple more for when I finally get around to the bathroom - after Kai's autumn break, probably. That starts today: he has two weeks off.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
[growl] Along with the rest of the post today was a card saying that a package for me that hasn't been delivered because the sender didn't pay enough postage is awaiting collection (and payment) at the sorting office. This means I have to waste an hour and a half walking there and back to pay the excess and pick it up.
Oh, no, sorry - I have to pay the excess of 30 pence and another bloody £1 bloody handling charge. I am not impressed. What do you bet it's the Swamp Thing TV series DVDs?
Will get over there for 8 am tomorrow and visit The Range on the way back - they're sort of in a similar direction...
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Any guesses? Actually, it's a lithops flower-bud. They're cute little succulents, and I normally keep at least one in the house. Here's a slightly less... um... suggestive pic -> My copy of Swamp Thing arrived from play.com this morning. This isn't the DVDs of the series - that's not arrived yet, and I'm hoping desperately it doesn't get held up in the postal strikes we're having. (I'm itching to see what episodes are on it, even if I do have to wait until Yule to watch them.) This is the original 1982 film, that gives the origins of Swamp Thing. I haven't seen it in years, so am quite looking forward to it (tonight, if Kai ever finishes his maths homework. [grin] He got an A* for his chemistry test today). I also have Return of Swamp Thing on its way (a much more light-hearted and silly/camp film that leads in nicely to the TV series). Both films star Louis Jourdan as Anton Arcane: the TV series had the delicious Mark Lindsay Chapman in the part. Still ploughing through the revisions. This version is much better. [For anyone who doesn't know and might be interested, Swamp Thing is the film version of Marvel's Man-Thing, a kind of eco-anti-hero. I was always rather fond of him...] Later edit: well, we found time to watch it, and it's dreadful! I don't remember it being that bad (actually not even in the so bad it's good category). Very glad it was extremely cheap. I do remember enjoying the sequel more, so will see how my memory fares when that one arrives.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Oh... so beautiful...
I am very pleased with this batch of dandelion wine. It was made in a hurry, but it's come out very nicely indeed, much lighter and drier than my usual flower wines - a bit like a light and very slightly sweeter Liebfraumilch, with a delicate flowery taste. It still has plenty of alcoholic kick though.
Now if I can only remember how I made it... Less sugar than normal, I think, and I skipped the orange juice because I didn't have any... (Recipe? What recipe? I only follow a recipe the first time, then customise it.) Going to make a much larger batch next year though, as it's infinitely quaffable - and we have an awful lot of dandelion plants in the garden. It's nice them not going to waste!
Wonder if medlar wine is feasible...
Monday, October 12, 2009
Finally got the bottom jamb of the patio doors repainted - though I had to leave them both open while it dried and I was bloody freezing. They face north and at this time of year by about 11 am the sun is over the roof and the whole patio's in shadow. Looks much better though.
The rest of the day has been racing through PC revisions, which are now coming on apace. Should be ready to go to the printer by the due date.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Rather busy for a Sunday...
Bottled the dandelion wine (finally): there's a scant half bottle going spare, which I shall finish shortly. Also racked and fined this year's elderflower - smells wonderful! Now the skin of my hands is all dry and sore (camden tableted water is not conducive to healthy skin!)
Kai has work experience next year - a whole week in a genuine work situation. He's picked three very suitable possibilities, one working with an animated film maker (no, not Aardman, unfortunately!), and two with a music bias, all three of them fairly close to home. It'll be interesting to see which one is allocated. All quite exciting!
Spent an hour creating a gallery for the APAG Dog Show - you can see it here. Steve gave me over a thousand photos to choose from, so this is only a tiny fraction, and a bit random as I just didn't have the time to go through all of them. (I didn't go to the event, I still miss Quyn dreadfully and knew I'd find it too upsetting.)
Hoping for an early night. Lots to do tomorrow...
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Ever had one of those days when absolutely nothing goes wrong?
They are remarkably rare and quite magical, and we had one today.
Absolutely glorious weather - T-shirt and sandals day. Headed off a little later than I'd planned (10.45), but that was OK. Got off at the bus station and first went to Reverb to pick up the stuff Kai wanted. Were OK for a cheap strap and plectrums, and we bought him a stand for his electric guitar, but as I'd suspected the tremolo arm needs to be the right one, and for that we need to take the guitar in. So bought a cheap gig bag for transportation, and Ken or I will have to go back during the week. Also had a look at their digital drum kits, and the best one for Kai at the moment is this one [later edit: gah - fixed broken link!], but at £349, again, at the moment it's out of our range. Still, it's good to know what we're looking for (rubber pads, not plastic: more durable and a much better sound).
They didn't have the drum keys (which Kai wants as he's gaining a rep as Mr Fixit at school in the music department, and it would be very useful if he can carry a key with him), so we crossed James Barton to go to Mickleburgh's. Unfortunately they didn't have single keys, but they did have a set of three (very useful since I would guess they get lost quite easily) and the assistant gave us 10% off as they hadn't had exactly what we were after. Kai also saw and loved their range of It's Alive! holographic plectrums, so we bought an alien head, a UFO and a Roswell thingie...
Then it was over to Broadmead to Lush Cosmetics. The last Porridge soap I bought from them was more porridge than soap - a bit like trying to wash with a pumice stone. Apparently there was a problem with the last batch, and they were working on it, but in the meantime they replaced it with my other favourite, Figs and Leaves.
After Robert Dyas for a replacement Sodastream cylinder we dived into Wilkinson's - which had a shower curtain with bubbles! Almost exactly what I was looking for: it's textile rather than PVC and a white background, so it will need washing more often, but that's not a big deal.
Back down to James Barton to get the bus to Bedminster, not just for the charity shops but because they have a Cash Converter there, and I knew I'd seen musical instruments there in the past... [Very Big Grin] They didn't have a drumkit - but they did have an Encore bass guitar in almost perfect nick for £79. And of course a bass is the other thing Kai's been lusting after...
And to top the deal off the assistant threw in thirty quid's worth of Stagg gig bag (properly padded and with extra pockets) and another twenty quid's worth of strap for free! (So crossing the fingers worked, Lutra!)
That's sprog's Yule present sorted. He hasn't stopped grinning all afternoon...
Last of all, the Bedminster pet shop carries crickets (Pet's Paradise in St Nick's Market has closed down, and the only other place I know of to get the cricks is the Reptile House, and that's a nearly two-hour round trip on the bus). So even Rosa is happy today!
We're knackered now, and going to watch Doom (£1.99 at Age Concern - I know, a pretty dire film, but it has the delectable Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban, and a bit of mindless monstrous violence with bishies is great after a busy day...) before I get on with some work.
Friday, October 09, 2009
... and then we ended up watching Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, which is a little gem of a film, funny, quirky and delightful. If you watch it (and I think you should!) make sure you stay right to the very very end.
(And see how many quotes from other films you can recognise!)
[blink] Hm. Malevolent teddy bears - I've seen this before...
Ah, yes, of course - in Akira.
Oh - and apparently we have otters again in Brislington Brook! This is excellent news: it used to be a haunt of the creatures but they were hunted to extinction around the middle of last
Right - Friday night, there's nowt on TV (naturally), and not that much on FilmFlex either. Back to work.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Rented Angels and Demons from LoveFilm - mainly for Ken, who likes this sort of thing (conspiracy theories/symbology/ancient religions). Watched it tonight. I had difficulty suppressing my loathing of the Catholic Church for long enough to attempt to view the film objectively, but even Ken wondered if perhaps the book managed to maintain the suspense for a little longer than the film...
Not recommended. The best thing in it is the scenery.
Blithely stolen from LOLcelebs. (No doubt with reference to her outfit as seen here...) Ploughing on...
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
It's raining. Which is good - garden and particularly the pools need it. But it's chilly too - have put the central heating on (was hoping to leave it a week longer but the males are complaining of the cold...) Tyjer doesn't like this weather, but he does rather like his hoomins and their comfy home. <- Peekaboo! Happy cat... ->
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Lutra: The cat's doing her best to warm me up - spreading herself all over me. Very selfless she is : ) Joules: awww keyoot. Yes, very kewt : ) She's wanting to be fed, too, I can tell she is : ) Ah, that'll be it... Ty's annoyed with me again. He was very grateful that I made it all warm and even a bit sunny for him this am, but now it's gone all gloomy. LOLOL! You should be more consistent [g] [sigh] I know. I am trying to teach him astronomy, but he's more interested in slices of ham. [splutter!] ROFLMAO!! Notoriously uninterested in the higher sciences, cats...
Monday, October 05, 2009
[sigh] Since I discovered that Swamp Thing the TV series has been brought out on DVD (well, seasons 1 and 2, anyway) I've been hankering after it, and today I gave in and ordered it for myself for Yule (£18.11 from play.com - not too huge a price for 33 episodes. Some of the folks' Yule present money will cover it). Not that it's a particularly good series, as far as I remember anyway, but it has Mark Lindsay Chapman as Dr Anton Arcane, one of the best - certainly one of the best-looking - villains ever (and the character on whom Davien was (very) loosely based). Heh, and that site says that season 2 was only released last year, so it may yet be that season 3 will be available at some point!
[happy grin] I should be able to make the time to watch it all at Yule, too!
Labels: Swamp Thing TV series
Sunday, October 04, 2009
A little writing, a little gardening, a little housework...
The cable channels keep showing trailers for Legend of the Seeker (Sci-Fi Channel), which I usually ignore, not being fond of the sword and sorcery genre (LotR excepted, of course). But yesterday I thought I recognised the main villain, Darken Rahl, in the trailer, and on checking, sure enough, he's played by Craig Parker (Haldir). So this afternoon we watched the day's two consecutive eps... Parker makes a good baddie, understated and quite menacing, as well as being a bishie, of course - but even he couldn't save the plot. Ken fell asleep, I very nearly did, and Kai remarked that it was obviously fascinating by the way we were glued to the TV... Don't think we'll bother with any more.
New House season starts tonight, but since I missed most of the previous season and a half I probably won't actually sit to watch. K&K are quite addicted though.
Lutra: hm. thought I'd d/l the free version (of Zone Alarm) but i'm being told I've got a 15 day trial... might've been something I ticked. eh well. Joules: oops [sigh] and of course za is all shiny and new and not recognising things so I'm getting alerts every 10 seconds : ) [sigh] [shrug] it'll learn beat it. beat it with sticks! clubs! ROFLMAO! shillelaghs! maces and baseball bats and gold-clubs!! I mean golf clubs oh my! [g] that'll larn it! mm. it'll certainly do something... : )
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Late night last night, so slept in this morning. K&K went to the dig down the road while I ploughed on with PC revisions (I don't think Kai enjoyed himself very much: it was mostly just digging in the patchy rain, as most of the archaeology has been retrieved by now), then after lunch it was over to Tesco to buy the new towels and a new pair of jeans for Kai.
Pretty much as usual there was nowt on TV worth watching this evening, so we checked FilmFlex, where we found The Children. 15 rating, and sounded OK, and it was on special (cheap) so we thought we'd give it a go.
Ye gods it's scary! British horror can be very hit or miss, but this one... [shudder] At the end, Kai said, "Is it really a 15? It's enough to put you off having kids..." Which pretty much says it all, I think.
On the subject of films, when I see AVP written anywhere I exclusively think of Alien versus Predator, so when I see something like this listed on DigiGuide -
SPORT: AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour On: Channel 4 (104) AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour highlights from Manhattan Beach, USA. The best players in America go head to head on the sand. (Repeat, Subtitles)I immediately get a mental image of a team of aliens facing a team of predators on blood-soaked sand, using a human head as a ball. Which is probably not what the organisers would want, but it's certainly amusing. And would explain why subtitles are needed...
Back to PC.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Monday shopping... hang on, it's Friday...
Felt like Monday shopping. Found a couple of DVDs in St Pete's charity shop: Caligula (the 'complete, unedited and unrated' 20th anniversary edition), and Virus, which is actually not at all bad. Some of the acting leaves a bit to be desired, and being based on a Japanese novel means it's distinctly gritty and grim, but overall I'm glad I picked it up. We don't have many cold war era films. We now have a young goldfinch visiting the garden. Pic's not all that clear, but this is more or less what it looks like through bins. It doesn't have much red below its beak at the moment, marking it as a youngster. Very cute little bird, and a right guzzler! Loves the sunflower seeds.
Back to PC...
Thursday, October 01, 2009
And there was just enough paint. It's not the most perfect paint job I've ever done, but it's OK, tidy and properly weather-proof, which was the main thing.
Finished painting patio doors and kitchen window now has first coat drying. Keeping fingers tightly crossed I have just enough paint to complete second coat. Still have to sand and paint the outside of the unused kitchen door, the shed (and garden loo) doors and the front door, but will need a trip to a DIY shop for that for more paint. Which is more hassle than it sounds now that Focus on the Bath Rd, and B&Q just up the road up at Flowers Hill, have both closed down.
The front door is a bit of a priority. The last door-to-door double glazing reps we had managed to break our letterbox by trying to use it as a door-knocker - irritating when there's a perfectly good doorbell just below eye-level. (Fair enough, the letterbox was very old and very cheap, but it now gives me the perfect opportunity to scowl at any others who call, pointing out that if they can't be trusted not to damage property when calling on spec, how could we possibly trust them to fit windows? and that when/if we want it done, we'll contact them. Or not...) We've bought a replacement, but it makes sense to get the door painted before fitting it, since the paintwork is very old and beginning to peel.
Personally, I'd like to paint the door midnight blue with golden stars, but Ken thinks hunter green would be safer. Boring...
I shall be glad when the window is done. Painting windowframes is by far my least favourite DIY job, so bloody fiddly.
Then back to PC. It's coming along nicely.