Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Euthanasia, The Last Starfighter, Monty Python and the Sony PSP

It's getting on for nearly three months since I last posted here, or blogged as is the parlance of our times.
It's a keen indication of the state of my self-discipline; if I get out of the habit of doing something I find it hard to get back into it. Thus I go through phases of watching DVDs, socialising and writing. For example I had a review copy of Exiled, the Johnny To Hong Kong action/arthouse flick, since late 2007, and had already seen it in the cinema, but as many familiar with writing will recognise it's often hardest to get started. Once I finally persuaded myself to knuckle down, I enjoyed it as I always do, and immediately afterward I watched a Japanese horror flick that was gathering dust in my collection and promptly reviewed that too (Exiled link to the right with the others, Premonition will be up in the coming weeks for the benefit of those few who would ever come back after getting this far).

It wasn't just sloth or a vague reluctance induced by fear of failure that curtailed the blogging habit (which was hardly prolific in the first place). In January and continuing on into February, I found myself incubating a lovely strain of the flu which I suffered with for no more than a week, but which led to a lengthy recovery period in which I didn't feel like much of anything. During the Fun Flu Week 2008 I found myself subject to a hair-trigger cough which would induce fits of hacking at the slightest movement and which were impossible to halt at will. I have had the flu (as opposed to a bad cold) once before, and whilst I remembered the woozy, dizzy and weak status that the condition provided me with, the coughing was new and I was mostly surprised that it didn't rend my throat into shreds. As the worst of it passed and I started to slowly get back to normal, I realised that the superhuman coughing efforts had had some sort of effect on the muscles in my torso, resulting in the feeling that I had recently been beaten by a small group of people wielding bats, unless I didn't move or breathe too hard. For a few weeks afterward I was barely able to keep up a brisk shuffle, and I found myself reminded of old age and the fact that, yet again, I shouldn't take my health for granted but instead be grateful for every day that passes where I can see, hear and walk up the road with little difficulty.

Having worked in the retail industry for over a decade, I am painfully aware of some of the more astoundingly petty little grievances that people hold and are unable to put into perspective, so I feel that I always start out with an advantage in terms of optimism over the next man-on-the-street. It's for this reason that I am logically, rather than reactively looking to move out of my flat, photos of which long-time readers will remember me posting at the tail end of last summer. It's not because of the guts of the bath being permanently on display as the landlord hasn't had it fixed. It's not because the toilet cistern leaks or because the upstairs neighbours have noisy kids or because I had to keep taking days off work to let engineers in to look at the washing machine that was meant to have been fixed before I moved in (5 visits and still broken). No, these are little problems that I could easily live with and ultimately do not really cause me any pain or much inconvenience. The problem is that the windows are so badly fitted that when it is windy, the frames emit the sound of an elephant playing a harmonica, loud enough to interrupt anything you may choose to do, including sleep. As having the windows re-fitted would be two tasks, firstly getting the landlord to do it in the first place and secondly having to put up with the sodding building work involved, I'm not exactly mad about the idea. The only alternative is to open the window, which stops the elephant but unfortunately reminds you how noisy it is with the window open.
Ah well, all it means is the inconvenience of packing up, moving on and doing all the admin involved in moving house, daunting from this end but it will all be over a couple of weeks afterwards. Plus, the handy bonus and raise that I recently got a work will make it that much easier to find the next flat.
Which is nice.

Minor inconveniences no.279367: seemingly having no hash key on this bastard ibook.
Minor inconveniences no.283749: having my rechargeable hair clippers run out mid-shave, and realising it doesn't function whilst plugged in.

I'm still having trouble understanding how South Park Season 5 came out on DVD in the UK a few months ago, passing effortlessly under my radar, and no-one thought to inform me.
I have been a South Park fan since the first few episodes, after I realised there was more to it than the gimmicky adverts which ran hourly on Channel 4 for a few weeks before the first screening. I was working at the Bond St. HMV before it moved to the other side of Oxford St. back then, or at least it hit UK TV soon afterwards which would put it at around 1998.
I followed it regularly and bought the series once they were available on DVD, but for some reason they mysteriously stopped at Season 4. The release date came and went for Season 5, and Season 6 didn't air in the UK. Luckily, I first got myself the internet in 2001 so I was able to find episodes that some kind Americans had captured and released on the net, and it was at this point that I became a Big Fan, when they began mixing the skewed humour with detailed pop-culture references and political commentary. It was possible to 'get' the episodes on a number of different levels which made for a satisfying as well as sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious watch.
The Season 6 episode 'Scott Tenorman must die' became the highlight for me, and began a golden run which remained unbroken for at least three seasons, with only blips in those to follow.
Season 12 has started over in the US, and I am looking forward to some more classics akin to the clash between Heaven and the forces of evil (Best Friends Forever), or the time when the boys tried to send a Killer Whale (Free Willzyx) into space.
But I didn't know Season 5 had been released, and worse still Season 6 came out on Monday, but i can't afford either until I am paid next week.
This is worse than not being able to sleep when it's windy.

Thanks for those of you who read to the end. In case you're wondering, I got out of the habit of socialising about three or four years ago, and I've yet to get back into it.
I blame Davey for coming down to London and stealing all my charm.

Yes I could have bought the region 1 DVDs of South Park which have been available for maybe two years now, but I had an irrational fear of my ancient DVD player packing up and not being able to find a decent multi-region player to watch my beloved South Park with. We can't be rational all the time.


  1. Theres a Disney film with a fox as a bad guy. I don't know which one for sure, The Rescuers perhaps.

    I've always thought you looked a bit like that fox. Not just a bit. Quite a lot.
    If that fox had found a machine which would transport him, Last Action Hero style, Enchanted style, even, into our world, only when he got here he would automatically assume human form -you are what that human form would look like.

    In this picture, you look more like that fox than ever before.

    South Park - I thought you would've known, obviously...

  2. I don't know the Rescuers that well - I'll be off on a Google hunt.

    regarding the South Park UK releases, it's been so many years that I gave up checking as often.
    They shall be mine.