I know I have been super crappy at updating lately, but dear blog, it’s not personal, everything has been on hold. It’s just one of those times when things collide: ill health, family needs, holidays, and things to do, always things to do.

It has been pretty gloomy actually, but today the sun shone a little, I think Spring is on its way. I have been on a mad subbing frenzy (well, mad for me who rarely subs) and sent off 5 things in the last couple of days, so fingers crossed.
In other news:
The Apprentice started last night. Now it is usually my telly highlight of the year, and it did not disappoint at all. It was all about Alex’s pretty lips, silly old De Lacey-Brown and his patronising ways, and Raef, whose words are tools, and whose hair is odd. Oh, and the wonderfully steely Margaret and Nick.
Didn’t all the blue eyes look extra blue? Odd. Anyway, I have even gone so far as to add the dubious facebook application, so if anyone wants to be hired by me just give me a shout!

Buffy – Season One

I have been very poorly this week. Stuck indoors in the grip of a hideous virus, unable to swallow without pain, or eat, drink, read, talk. My husband has a similar virus that has taken hold of him in a different, yet utterly gross, way. We had so many plans for this week and next, and have had to cancel everything and settle to a routine dictated by needing to take penicillin at strict 6 hourly intervals. We have long been planning to watch Buffy season 1 to 7, it’s a marathon that will probably take us a decade or so! We first saw Buffy many years ago, and began with Season 3, watched until 7, then caught up with 1 and 2. My brother has bought me Buffy dvd’s for birthday and Christmas for ages, the complete set is ours now but we are usually way too busy, and it seems too huge to start over. However, our unexpected and coinciding illness has meant that dahdah, in just 1 week we have ‘done’ Season One. For the delight of nobody at all, but for the benefit of future me who will find it has all turned into a blur, here are my random thoughts which I will not even bother to put into a coherent essay style format:

Buffy Season One.

Her clothes! My god, this is Buffy the whore, the Lolita, the paedophile’s fantasy. I am amazed that I didn’t see her knickers at all. Surely filming was regularly held up in order to make sure nothing showed, such teeny, tiny dresses and skirts! Funny nose too.

Nicholas Brendan (Xander) seems the most comfortable actor in the first ep’s. He displays good timing and quippy goodness from the get go, so I was astonished to read on good ol’ wiki that he was the person with the least experience.

Giles takes only a couple of episodes to settle into his role. Why do they always call him Giles and not Rupert?

Cordelia is very amusing, and convincing, in her head bitch role. It’s cool watching her way back then, knowing the arc her character takes all the way through to the end in Angel.

Willow seems very small and thin and childlike.

Angel – oh such a pretty vampire, no idea how he gets away with allegedly never aging when we contrast him here in the early days with the man who gets his own spin off! Such a classic white tee and black leather jacket combo. Sigh.

It’s a fairly straight set up of what is to come, but it lacks the emotional depth and layers that work so well in later seasons. Traces are there though, Buffy and Angel the love that can not be, Willow yearning for an oblivious Xander who is busy crushing on Buffy.

Still one of my favourite scenes is the initial one where the bad boy leads the nervous blonde girl into school and we are there as we have been before in so many horror films, when the tables turn, and the genre is neatly and immediately subverted.

Watching so many together makes one tire a little of the sarky chat/visit to the Bronze/graveyard scene/big fight with ultimate vamp dusting. But it still is compulsive viewing.

The Master is a good scary character. His face is the stuff that nightmares are made of, and his nails are grotesque, the way he twists necks is creepy and efficient.

I always have hated the Teacher’s Pet episode. I thought I disliked The Pack too, but this time round I thought it was really well observed. Out of sight, Out of mind is a fantastic idea. Fave tho’ is Nightmares as it ranges from the lols of Cordy’s hair to the heartbreak of Buffy’s dad dream superbly. Yayness.

Right, sorry about that. Normal service will hopefully resume shortly.

Searching for the dazzle.

I approach things in an optimistic fashion I think. When I pick up a book to read, or settle down to watch a film or TV show, or play music, I am hoping to be absorbed and delighted. I want it to be great, really, that’s what I am rooting for.
It seems ages since I have been dazzled. Even with the decent stuff I start out thinking ooh, this is good, which peters out into, well, it’s not so bad, before it finishes and I think, oh.
Veronica Mars ( yeah, on and on I go about VM) was great, I was impressed throughout by plot, dialogue, acting, dammit, I even liked the clothes! But that’s it. That’s the sum total of me being impressed this year so far. Sigh.
So what is that about? Am I old and jaded and way too fussy, is there a dearth of dazzle, is it my hormones?
Every book of short stories at work seem to come with some proclamation that this author is the best writer of his/her generation, and is endorsed by x, y and z authors who all agree that here is rare talent. And I flip open the book and read blah stories that leave me cold. I don’t know what I am looking for but I’ll know it when I see it. I can’t write it either, it’s what I want to write and read and watch and hear, for now it is utterly elusive.

(Actually, it probably sounds a bit like Beth Ditto, and reads like Janice Galloway’s “The trick is to keep breathing” and looks like Veronica Mars…seen it anywhere?)

Channel 4 news weirdness.

In the middle of their story about how Andrew Flintoff got drunk and had to be rescued from a dinghy, Channel 4 news flashed up a cartoon dinghy picture with a cartoon Andrew Flintoff waggling his head about whilst surrounded by cartoon bottles of alcohol. Channel 4 news! It was like something from one of those mock ups trashy papers sometimes do where they print in teeny letters “this is what **** may have looked like when doing ****”
Very odd.

Veronica Mars.

Just about the only thing bringing me joy right now is Veronica Mars. Living have been repeating series 1 and 2 daily for the last few weeks, and it is ultra delicious. The writing is uber snappy and funny, but there are also those quiet vulnerable moments too. I think the actors are doing a really good job, and yeah, I want to be Veronica and snog Logan, sigh. The great thing about the show is the way it has an amazingly complex story arc, and it doesn’t fuck up with it ever. I am a huge Buffy and Angel fan, Joss is my man, I came to VM with a huge amount of scepticism. I thought it would be Buffy lite and I’d hate it. But no, I LOVE it. I read today that Joss Whedon said it was the ” Best. Show. Ever. Seriously, I’ve never gotten more wrapped up in a show I wasn’t making, and maybe even more than those. Crazy crisp dialogue. Incredibly tight plotting. Big emotion, I mean BIG, and charismatic actors and I was just DYING from the mystery and the relationships and PAIN” (caps all his.)
So now I feel vindicated in my adoration. In fact JW guest starred in the episode I watched last night, and I didn’t realise until afterwards.
Anyhoo, I have been finding books fairly disappointing recently, I haven’t reviewed what I have read because I don’t want to just slag off somebody’s hard work. I’m working to the adage if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing so I’m keeping schtum about my feelings towards several current hot novels. They were all dull. If only one could transfer some of that VM magic onto paper, whoo, that’d be ace. But how hard is it to write characters as complicated as Logan? I honestly don’t know if it is possible. All I can say is that amidst my pile of notes for my novel is a line saying “VM and the year long story arc.”

Starting as I don’t mean to go on.

I have been ill since New Year’s day, which is tedious. I am still not right, but today for the first time I feel a hint of getting better. Consequently all my New Year’s resolutions to be more workwomanlike and organised and productive have gone by the by. I have been fit for nothing, and so have watched all sorts of telly tosh.
It’s so very embarrassing to admit, but my love of Oz soap led me to Sky plus “Soapstar Superstar” and whizz through on fast forward to watch Dr Karl from “Neighbours” and Ric Dalby from “Home and Away”. Alan Fletcher (Dr K) is extremely awful. He is so serious and needy. His singing is a Val Doonican/Des O’Connor mash, I will never love the Dr again. On the other hand Mark Furze (Ric) is such a beautiful boy, very handsome and cool and just the type of person I would have had pinned to my wall as a teenager, he can sing well enough so I hope he wins, although probably there is a more deserving winner, a man called Leo who sings very naturally and well. I went off him though because he cried when another contestant was booted off, and I thought he should really get a grip! As I don’t watch any other soap I really have no idea who anyone else is, but none of them seem good!
The other show is of course sleb big bother. It seems designed so that we laugh at the stupid people, which I find offensive. Then the stupid people say ridiculous things (Jade’s mum asked Shilpa if she lives in a shack!). There’s no nobility in ignorance just because it’s working class. The whole thing is manipulative and voyeuristic and utterly engaging. I like to watch and moan, and then see Russell Brand’s show and marvel at his wonderful way with words. He is shiny!

My own way with words is clearly rubbish. I haven’t written at all. I don’t even have a list of upcoming comps and submissions organised. I am useless. I do keep jotting ideas down though, in the hope that at some point in the near future I will mutate into a completely different person and actually fucking do some work.