25 April 2006

a list of things i do and places i go. . .

. . . really should be started, before i forget what i do or where i go. must come up with some categories, etc. . .

i'll start now, off the top of my head and nearby pinboard:

bbc taping - the write stuff - waterstone's (yes, there is a secret room on the 6th floor) - 27 april 2006 (inc guest john o'farrell, whose book i loved so much, i read it twice - and some other people i didn't know; nb: comments tbd re the female reader with 'the voice')

theatre - period of adjustment - almeida theatre - 25 april 2006 (more tbd - for now, i saw this guy there in the audience)

theatre - resurrection blues - the old vic - xx april 2006 (featuring matthew modine and neve campbell (yes, julia from party of five - or, to any male readers - yes, the one who snogged denise richards in wild things) and others whom i can't remember at the moment)

bbc taping - counterpoint (music quiz radio show - special 20thyr anniversary edition) - drill hall - xx april 2006 (inc guest julian lloyd-webber (who i have always thought was andrew's son until this very moment, when searching for this link - they are brothers!)

bbc taping - never mind the full stops x2 (new bbc4 telly programme - channel 4 - xx march 2006 (presented by the (surprisingly) ever so impish julian fellows; inc guests carol thatcher, janet street-porter and a few others i'd never heard of (like ned sherrin, who was terribly english...so i went to see him record counterpoint, as above!))

music - classic concert with motoki hirai and john pearce - st cyprian's church - 18 march 2006

theatre - the producers - theatre royal drury lane - 23 november 2005

theatre - romance - almeida theatre - 28 september 2005 (featuring the top mancunian, john mahoney)

theatre - a life in the theatre - apollo theatre - 3 march 2005 (featuring patrick stewart and josh jackson (yes, pacey from dawson's creek - he's all grown up now!) - we saw them both in their knickers)

you know what those sirens mean, don't you . . .

. . . it means the gooners may well be at it all night

but hey - we won ! a few down, one to go . . . phew

it was one of those moments i'd dreaded . . .

tbd, re cornstarch

konichiwa hirigana!

tbd - arigato

18 April 2006

carlsberg and the crucifixtion

coming soon!

alliteration and meeting matthew modine

coming soon!

15 April 2006

full metal jacket is truly . . .

. . . one of the best films ever

some people seem to find it odd that i - little, tiny, innocent and defenceless female - could love it so. but i do

and of the things that's great about it is matthew modine. c'mon, you know matthew! you think you don't, but you do. if consumed with uncertainty, go here and here

well, i got to meet mr modine this evening! yes, it's true, and not at all the way i would have envisioned my day going, at the point i left the house in the morning

. . . to be continued . . .

i have just read this . . .

. . . and am a bit fired up

this began as a short comment i was going to make on the bbc website article which you can read here (if you wish)

i agree completely with tom watson’s comment as above: ‘however, i think americans need to be educated in such a way that equips them better to travel without appearing to treat to rest of the world like an extension of disneyland. i frequently hear patronising, insensitive comments made by american tourists who are tarnishing the reputation of their compatriots.’

having been born and raised in the US, i have lived here for nearly four years, and have never experienced any of the behaviour ms cox indicates. although i did anticipate it initially and have discussed it with my british friends and colleagues at various times over the course of the years, they too are unaware of this sentiment being thought of and/or used on us-types living or visiting here.

when i hear these stories, i tend to think they are embellishing as a means of drawing attention. i once heard a student here on exchange from small town america say that a woman on the til at a shop said to her 'you sound just like george bush - you must support the war and killing innocent people', leaving those in the room to whom she said this to tut-tut incredulously. puh-leeze, i would like to hear from a witness to this actually happening, because i do find it quite unbelievable

that said, i too lower my voice when in public and/or meeting new people - but that comes more from the belief that americans speak in a loud, uneducated and crass manner. i tend to agree with that, and am fairly embarrassed when hearing others in public. but the same can surely be said of, say, australians who are here to get away from oz, or the brits in ireland, who are there to get away from here, or anyone wanting to get away from ‘their own’ people, yet finding there is no escape, no matter how far you go

as steveo said: ‘i honestly think its all about the tone and volume. americans are always wah wah wah on the train, in the restaurants. you can hear them a mile off. its as irritating as when someone is talking on their mobile loudly in a train. it gives the impression they are better than everyone else. what i would advise americans to do is to talk less, listen more, and talk more softly.’

indeed, there was a noticeable difference around a year or so ago when people automatically assumed and asked me if i was canadian, rather than american. that had never happened before, but is rampant now. and though this could have more to do with this funky 'transatlantic madonna-esque' accent i seem to have acquired, i believe it is more to do with not wanting to cause offence with a general assumption i am american. this has always struck me as amusing, bearing in mind the generalisation in america of canadians being 'dumb, uneducated, rubbish' (see south park, et al); (although those such as john candy who were happy to play along with the stereotype in things like canadian bacon were brilliant. but i digress)

supporting emilie dingler-meek's comment of: ‘as a seattleite living in london i often find that i can get away with pretending to be canadian as well. and i do. i am ashamed to be american. i didn't vote for bush and i don't support the iraq war and i feel american foreign policy is abhorrent. but i also find that people will assume i'm a thick headed, right-wing, mcdonald's loving, anti-islamic, fundamentalist christian, intolerant, homophobic idiot. that couldn't be further from the truth, but i never get a chance to show people who i really am.’

i am grateful for the rare opportunities in which i do not have to say aloud the words 'i am american' or 'i am from america'. gain ire at the words, if you will, but i would rather than not be classified by where i was born but rather who i am

besides, the thing about london is that one is hard-pressed to even find a true anglo-saxon through-and-through brit (is there such a thing?) - a brilliant facet of the multi-culturalism of this city is that when taking stock of your tube carriage, you are likely to run out of fingers rather quickly when counting the nationalities/backgrounds of those sitting amongst you

if ms cox felt she needed to 'go back to 'the states' (another term i despise because it sounds quite selfish to me - there are other countries in the world that use the term 'state' - it is just further evidence of americans having no cognisance of there being a world outside their own country. but i digress. again.) where she felt loved, then perhaps she should go back there full stop. i mean, really, if people don't like it here, make no efforts to ingratiate themselves into the local life/culture/knowledge and simply prefer to moan about all things london/english, then by all means, go back to from wherenst you came. she is possibly too of the ilk of those who, when the bombings happened in july, greatly contemplated the idea of 'going home'. whereas there are those of us who feel this is our home, and felt more connected to this country, london and londoners than ever before

someone clever once said something to the effect of 'you can't choose where you were born, but you can choose where you die'. indeed. although i hopefully have at least another 50-60yrs until reaching death, i know i would rather it be where i am happy and around those to whom i feel i can relate

-an expat with no desire to ever 're-patriotise' to the us (canada, maybe - the anglo/euro-cised parts...)

01 April 2006

now that's what i call . . .

. . . melodrama

how excellent was eastenders last night? truly, if you must know - it's not often one can say that these days. the one when leo died was probably the last time it was to this standard. even when dennis was stabbed/johnny beaten up on new years eve, it seemed rather contrived and up to par of the previous year when dirty den was killed (again)

i wonder if tony jordan is back - there was rumour he'd be returning, and i think he did for a short while; but i don't recall seeing his name in the credits of late. must investigate . . .

am loving our newish teleport replay, which seems to be used solely for 'tenders catch ups these days. although in my procrastination two evenings ago, i picked a show at random, and ended up thinking it was absolutely brilliant

it was called 'you need a dog' (i know, don't let the title put you off), which is a new series, presumably. in the one i saw, there was this beautiful, vibrant, intelligent single mother - sam - who was lacking in 'companionship'. so the pet experts decided that having a dog for 3 weeks would help her to meet people and feel better about herself. i thought this woman (age 30ish?) was so amazing - she had what sounded to be a terrible childhood (leaving home and being on her own since the age of 13), and she also had a daughter aged around 9-10 who was deaf, having contracted meningitis at the age of 2, from which she lost her voice and hearing. sad. but sam just pushed on, learned sign language and lived a happy little life

but there was something missing...cue arrival of bob the dog. he was a black cocker spaniel and the sweetest thing ever (says she who does not like dogs). with the assistance of various pet therapy types, sam and bob went to obedience school (for bob, not sam), made a little room for him in a storage cupboard, took lots of walks and - the culmination - attended 'puppy love' - a singles night for dog owners

it all sounds so completely ridiculous, but really, it was superb. sam was feeling loved (by both herself and bob), getting out into the fresh air and meeting other dog walkers, as well as getting cuddles on the sofa (from bob, not the other dog walkers)

at puppy love, she met a few nice young men. one was deaf, and i thought it was brilliant the way she was able to not skip a beat and start signing to him. impressive. she eventually met adrian, owner of two dogs. they had a couple of drinks, exchanged no.'s, and met up a couple of days later to walk their dogs together. adrian asked her for dinner and sam was a happy clam

but then disaster struck - the 3 weeks were up!! bob had to go away. people who aren't pet people have no idea how easy it is to get attached to an animal, even in a short time - they're like your children, really, but they don't cry or throw their food at you (although they have been known to leave a mess on the floor when being potty-trained)

so bob left, and sam and i were both gutted, but knew bob was off to conquer his next mission of bringing love and cuddles to the next deserving person

adrian and sam went on their date, he asked her out again, sam and daughter got a hamster, the end

there is a lesson to be learnt whilst watching other people turn themselves round. i, for one, have been thinking a lot lately how desperately i want a cat again, because they can really make all the difference in the world. i can't really have one where i live, but i'm thinking about asking. what's the worse the landlord can say - no. so i move on and continue to hunt for ones to pet along the road

i had also been thinking mildly about learning to sign, and it seems to suddenly be a recurring theme in conversations that should otherwise have nothing to do with it. someone was telling me last night (bringing it up voluntarily - i had not mentioned it at all) that there is some ridiculous statistic like for every 60,000 people who are deaf, there is one speaking/signing interpreter. how depressing is that (nb: i'm not actually sure if that was for here or america, as she is clued up on the topic in both countries)

i remember looking into learning this a couple of years ago, but it seemed a lengthy and expensive process. how on earth can they charge people to learn this amazing thing that is rewarding for all involved? i understand there used to be a government scheme in britain where it was free. it should be again. i must investigate . . .

Current mood: pensive

hairdresser on fire

i should think it's certainly not too often one gets the opportunity to quote the lyrics from 'the death of a disco dancer (well it happens a lot round here...)'. but it just fell straight into my lap, begging to be said - even though the person on the other end didn't get it at all (who is not only gay, but apparently used to do hair - go figure)

such a fortunate coincidence that this morning, i opted to take along to work with me the smiths book in which people recount stories that are associated with their songs. i've not picked up the book since nov 2004 (according to the rail ticket inside), so a bit odd this should come up in the same day. odd in a good way. . .