On the horns of a dilemma

Well. I just got an email, out of the blue, from the woman who messed with me back in January. She's apologised, saying she realises now she acted in a rather juvenile fashion, and that upon reflection she's sorry about it all.

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Anyway, that's that. And yet again, I'm sorry to vent at you all about this. I'll write a nice big positive post soon, I promise - my Ubykh manuscript's got some rather interesting things in it, if I say so myself, and I'd very much like to share some of them before it gets published (which, if all goes well, should be quite soon). I also had a lovely night out tonight, which I'll post about tomorrow.

By the way: I'm freezing. It's a cold night tonight.
  • Current Music
    Elton John - I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

Another Friday night

I have to start laying off the sauce. I tend to get lonely when I've had a few to drink and tonight is being particularly rough for some reason.

I wish I weren't so damned introverted and unsure of myself.
  • Current Mood
    lonely lonely

Trivial whinge # 7,725

I'm getting a wee bit pissed off by the proportion of the bus-riding population that are either too stupid, too ignorant, or too self-absorbed to consider that the cane I'm using at the moment just might be a signal that having to stand on a packed bus isn't an ideal situation for me right about now and that the "Priority Seating: please vacate for a disabled person, elderly person or pregnant woman" sign just might actually mean something.

Just a thought.
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

A weekend... nothing much, really

Catching up on a bit of TV. I never realised how mad I and TV in general have become for crime dramas of all stripes, but I'm watching altogether too much of Law and Order, SVU, NCIS, The Mentalist, Bones and so on, and have now added Harry's Law to the list. I saw the ads on TV several weeks ago and I'd been thinking about trying it, especially since I took to Boston Legal (another of David E. Kelley's shows), and finally - after running myself up to date with Mentalist and NCIS - I got around to it. And it isn't bad! To a large extent it's very derivative, and without the stellar acting abilities of the lead, Kathy Bates (who won an Oscar for Misery) I'm not sure it would have much oomph. But it's not bad as it goes, and shows a bit of promise, so I'll be giving it a bit of time to see if it matures as a show. I've watched the first six episodes of the first season, which is apparently already over and ran for only 12 episodes rather than the usual two dozen or so that American 40-minute dramas usually put forward. I wonder what that was all about?

My back felt particularly good today - only brief periods of sciatica and backache. Huzzah! Hopefully this means things are progressing; I'm hoping the next few days will bring more joy. Especially more writing - there've been days where I've been unable to concentrate on writing at all because of the coming-and-going pain, but now it's pretty much settled I'm intent on bashing out as much more thesis as I can. I'd like to have a reasonably solid draught of the methodology and methods chapter for Andy to read over before the weekend, and since he's doing a lot of travelling about the place from the 15th until about September I'm going to have to take advantage of his time while he's here!

Other than that... quiet days, mostly. Mother's Day today, and my little nephew's first birthday party yesterday, a very pleasant do at my sister's place. She and her husband had perhaps 30 or 40 people around to celebrate, so a big event! The lad's walking around most of the time now; it's still mind-blowing to see how quickly he grows. Time really is flying.
  • Current Mood
    tired tired

Hi. Remember me?

Back again, after yet another long hiatus. I'm not going to promise to post more regularly this time, 'cause it always seems like life makes a liar out of me, for one reason or another. I kinda doubt anyone's reading this LJ any more, but if you are, how're you doing? :)

Well. What have I been up to lately? Collapse )
  • Current Mood
    blah blah

Writer's Block: Future forward

What is the best science fiction movie of all time, and why?

So this is the Writer's Block suggestion for today. But unfortunately, the movie critic in me has several different answers for this question! Sci-fi cinema is a lot bigger and more complex genre than a lot of people give it credit for, so "best" really covers a lot of ground. And I watch a lot of sci-fi film; though I don't pretend to be any kind of expert film critic, and I judge films primarily on the enjoyment I get out of them. So, for your pleasure this freezing winter night (they're forecasting 8 degrees tonight, which for Brisbane is pretty damn cool), here are the 2010 Solid Gold Awards for the best and worst in sci-fi cinema of the last fifty years, as voted by an audience of one.

The Holodeck Award for Visual Effects must, with no shadow of doubt, go to Avatar. Whatever you may think about the plot, the world of Pandora was visually the most photo-realistic and spectacular creation ever to hit the screen, assisted not only by the use of 3D technology but by the judicious and subtle use of it. Other possible contenders were Independence Day, The Matrix and Jurassic Park; Independence Day loses out because of the woeful Praxis Effect at the end, which was probably awesome in the cinemas in 1996 but which is showing its age.

The Jugs-t Because We Can Award for Most Blatantly Gratuitous Use of a Female Love Interest is, of course, the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact (hell, everyone else was getting some except for Data, and how else was that going to happen?), though it was a close-run thing between that and Nova in Planet of the Apes - the original Charlton Heston one, not the Marky Mark joke, which resembled the Pierre Boulle novel (excellent, especially in the original French) only insofar as there was a planet, and there were apes on it.

The I Can't Believe It's Not Butter A Smoking Cinder Award for Closest Call in an Apocalyptic Scenario is Deep Impact, a kinda-silly disaster film that I nonetheless enjoy. I'm a fan of the disaster films, what can I say. Others are Armageddon and The Core, which was disqualified from contention for the Smoking Cinder Award for its blatant and unrepenting use of the word unobtainium. (Avatar can consider itself on an official warning for same.)

The Through a Crystal Ball, Darkly Award for Most Disturbingly Likely Prediction of the Near Future goes to Gattaca, a film I haven't seen in some time but found both intriguing and unsettling. Fortunately DNA profiling hasn't become a problem to this degree - yet. Honourable mention to The Island, though I found myself distracted from the film by Scarlett Johansson's lips. I bet her makeup kit contains two litres of red paint and a bicycle pump.

The Not Nearly Enough Tissues Award for Biggest Tearjerker goes to Armageddon. The science is dodgy, the idea of a grizzled old oil-well driller and his team being trained to be put on an asteroid to save the human race terribly unbelievable, but I was very pleasantly surprised at the tugging of my heartstrings in the final sequence.

For the Oh Gosh, Maybe I Should Have Packed My Biohazard Suit Award for Most Ridiculously Overdone Gorefest, there is absolutely no competition with Starship Troopers. I'm told that the film was originally called Bug Hunt and was planned as basically a splat-'em-up, and that the association with the Heinlein novel Starship Troopers was actually done after the script was written. An honourable mention goes to Cube, whose inventive manners of death were the first and, to date, only time I've ever actually been physically squeamish in a movie.

And the Purulent Plague-Ridden Leper Award for Science Fiction Film I Least Want To Be Assocated With In The Slightest is Battlefield Earth, a film which I'm told even the director of disowned. Nothing I've heard about it makes me want to even pay the two bucks to hire it from the local video shop, especially not the quite extraordinary rating of 2% Fresh that it garnered from Rotten Tomatoes.

My own personal favourites? Probably Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Stargate, Avatar, Independence Day and Star Trek: First Contact. It's hard to pick a single one amongst those, though Stargate would probably win just because the main character is an archaeologist AND linguist, which has obvious appeal to me. Let's be fair, we archaeologists don't get a whole lot of exposure in the cinema, Indiana Jones aside (and he's only counted as an archaeologist because he has tenure at a university - don't even get me started on Lara Croft), and that goes doubly so for linguists... other than My Fair Lady and Atlantis: The Lost Empire I can't think of any films with linguists as the main characters.
  • Current Music
    the Stargate: SG-1 theme

Hi y'all

Posting just so I can alert you all to my location tag.

Hee hee hee.

To update you all: I'm finishing up a three-month trip, partly for uni work and partly for recreation and Fun Times, that has taken in Turkey, Georgia, Greece, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and the United States.

A full entry will be forthcoming, but will probably take about a month to write...
  • Current Music
    a crappy American cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over"