freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
It is utterly delightful to me that Javier Grillo-Marxuach, the creator of the Middleman, writes Middleman fanfic. Today, a Christmas card which is also a Middleman/Star Trek crossover. Also, the chortling screams of hipster mockery, "flingety-flangety-foom", a Psionic-Level-Obstructing-Telekinesis-Deterring-Extrasensory-Vibration-Inhibiting-Cloud-Emitter, the Phynberg Oscillating Framizam, a legion of angry baobab trees, and Furious Ferrets as hateful harbingers of helium-filled hatred. Alas that this show ended so prematurely. I loved it so.

In other news, Friday Wol wears a hat. Because he can. (It's the feet that get me.) He is also wishing me slightly indignant luck as I go forth to acquire, come hell or high water, a new car today. *girds loins*

The hero of Canton, the wol they call Jayne. Or something.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011 01:39 pm
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It's been a horribly busy week, full of stress and angst. (Exam results came out yesterday. Can you tell?). Saturday was another bloody migraine, fortunately prevented by Judicious Drugs from reaching the throwing-up stage, but rife with nausea and aura and the need to lie flat for several hours instead of attending bakercourt's wedding, an omission about which I am still gnashing my teeth. I'm still all pale and headachey and migraine-hungover, and even without that still tire incredibly easily, which means I'm boot-strapping my way through running today's multiple year-end progression checking training sessions via judicious application of chocolate, Earl Grey and energy drinks, and snarling at the last-minutenesses of students. (Couldn't find V, am desolated to report that Spike tastes worse than Red Bull, and has left a thin film of metallic ick over my teeth, as though I've been slugging mercury).

However! Let us die or be upbeat! By way of retaining such remnants of sanity and positive thought as are left to me, I record for posterity the various random validations which have been vouchsafed to me over the last couple of days.
  1. In the Department of Self-Indulgent Piano Noodling, spent a happy half hour on Sunday haxOring the correct chords to Paul McCartney's "No More Lonely Nights", which I don't think I've actually heard since the 8Os, but which is, once you've listened to it four times on YouTube and uttered little shrieks of enlightenment at the chord changes, actually a rather lovely tune. That man wrote ridiculously catchy music, which I generally can't hear without thinking about the Hitch-Hiker's Guide bit about happy, lilting, tuneful songs, and Paul McCartney, if he'd written them, wondering what to buy with the proceeds, and thinking probably Essex. Also, power ballads on piano are indecent amounts of florid, sumptuous fun to play.
  2. Skyrim, while absorbing and beautiful and addictive, is also ridiculously crashy. When I tried, this morning, to get in my designated half-hour of play before rushing off to work, it had developed, overnight, a perfectly new and spontaneous bug which crashed it instantly the moment I tried to load a saved game. Any saved game. Aargh. This caused much chewing of the furniture and a small, doomladen cloud of blue curse words, followed by ten minutes on Google. The gathered wisdom of the ancients (i.e. geeky types in the last two weeks) prompted me to updated my DirectX (was unnecessary, have the up-to-date version), update my graphics card drivers (needed new version, but didn't fix problem), and then reboot, whereupon the crash problem was no more. I love doing that. However minor a victory it is, it fills me with feelings of instrumentality and competence and geeky joy.
  3. After this morning's training jaunt, in which I was probably lucid and coherent until the last fifteen minutes, the Deputy Dean sent me a joyously unprompted little email congratulating me on an excellent session and my "gift for presenting complex material in a lucid and succinct fashion". He cced it to the Dean. I feel like a smug kitty who's just been scratched on precisely the right spot behind the ears. *purrs*. Also, if they only knew how much of my "gift for presenting complex material in a lucid and succinct fashion" is the direct result of DMing complicated rpg systems like Rolemaster and briefing DMs for tournament modules, they'd ... well, probably be very confused. And surprised. And oddly less approving.
Gosh, that was a good exercise, I have validated myself into a much better mood. To round it off, have a gratuitous and wonderful chunk of Middleman fanfic, written with absolute authenticity and deliriously Middlesque language by the unpronounceable Javier Grillo-Marxuach himself, and notable for its ability to solve one of the most perplexing issues of our day, namely how to phonetically render the noise made by the TARDIS taking off. Fudgety-Bow-Wow, Dubbie!
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I seem to have woken up with no brain this morning, or even less of one than usual, and a bad dose of Gosh Are Those Lead Weights I'm Carrying? in addition to the usual vague sensation of not quite being here. (This may have had something to do with an extremely active night's dreaming, including navigating an old Victorian house as though it were a Zelda dungeon, and incidentally discovering that [ profile] bumpycat had arrived unexpectedly from Tokyo to attend the party as a surprise. Wearing a suit.) Consequently, linkage ensues.

  • OMG it's dream casting! In the sense of putting two of my favourite actor obsessions into the same movie, now with added Victorianism, just to push even more of my buttons. Oh, and corpses, but I can overlook that. I'd squee, but it's undignified and in my current state I may fall over.
  • In other good geek movie news, Bryan Singer wants back into X-Men. This might actually wash the taste of watching Brett Ratner screw a franchise out of my mouth. Brett Ratner tastes like the bottom of a mutant parrot cage. Also, just to nail my colours to the mast, in addition to loving the first two X-Men films, I also liked Superman Returns. Don't judge me.
  • This is cute. Go on, go and herd cats. You know you want to! They're elegant, and self-possessed, and their body language and essential wilfulness is beautifully captured.

Quick query: my dad's computer is apparently running on 256M of RAM, which I think is what is causing it to hang ruminatively at frequent intervals and throw out virtual memory errors like a rash. Unfortunately it's an old motherboard that uses DDR-SD RAM (the wizard says it's DDR400, if that's germane in any way; the motherboard is Apacer, string-of-random-numbers MSI PM8M-V [MS7704]). Local computer shops laugh hysterically when I ask if they carry the old RAM. Does anyone happen to have old DDR RAM chips lying around unused since you're all geeks and upgrade madly at frequent intervals while packratting the obsolete bits? Am happy to pay, in chocolate chip cookies if preferred.

Finally, my state of brain means I keep forgetting to bring my notebook with cute Middleman quotes in it up to campus, so the last couple of episodes are held tantalisingly out of your reach until I spontaneously generate a clue. Normal word-pervery will resume shortly.
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I'm subscribed to the IT mailing list of my Cherished Institution, mostly because there's a sort of mournful satisfaction in finally receiving the mail which tells you that you haven't had internet for two days on account of a virus/a DoS attack/that worm that targets promiscuous student swappage of memory sticks/an explosion in the server room/the giant squid attack on the undersea cable. Today the notification was of a routine electrical power-down in one of the buildings over the weekend, ostensibly because "A new supply cable needs to be pulled in and livened up." I am fascinated by the word choice. Do you think this is inept use of vocab, or actual technical terms? do electrical engineering types indeed talk about "livening up" a cable when it's connected? It's lovely word choice in some ways because it sounds energetically physical.

I think everymoment recommended M.T. Anderson's feed to me, and I spent a couple of hours yesterday imbibing it in a single, gulping inhale while flat on my back on the sofa (Sid has been all rampageous, with enthusiastic assistance from glandular fever resurgence; I couldn't look at a computer screen without active nausea until about 3pm yesterday and was feeble and spaced enough not to actually feel guilty that I wasn't at work). It's a damned good book, a sort of dystopian near-future young adult thing that's surprisingly dark and real in its depiction of teen relationships and concerns. Mostly, though, I was blown away by the writer's ability to capture not only the delirious speed and flickering change of a data feed plugged straight into your brain, but use of that data by the pervasive, iniquitous, seductive power of corporate consumerism. It's not a cheerful book, despite its hip surface and moments of humour: it's a tragedy, a meditation on the power of consumerism to pervade, to betray and to diminish its participants to a level of unthinking, oblivious naivety which presents itself as pathos rather than culpability. These kids struggle only feebly towards knowledge, context or understanding of either themselves or the rape being perpetrated on their world by the corporate interests which lull them with ownership. The fate of the one main character is tragic because it simply depicts, more quickly and obviously, the fate which awaits them all as capitalism, blindly grabbing, destroys them all. It's an absorbing, terrifying, slightly harrowing read that I wholeheartedly recommend.

Middleman gave us "The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation", last night, an episode tragically low in Goofy Middlemisms, although points for "Bram Stoker's widow!". Suitable vampire references litter the thing, but only this series can entwine Vlad the Impaler with sinister ventriloquists' models in one episode, leading to the interchange which neatly encapsulates the episode:
The Middleman: Dubbie, did he just turn into a bat puppet?
Wendy: Man, I don't even have an opinion.
This show, how much it is loved. By me. And, hopefully, after all these carefully-displayed gems, by most of you lot too.
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I had to drop the Evil Landlord off in the bowels of Landsdowne this morning, to collect his car (and, praise the cosmic wossnames, Ray The Amazing Mechanic may actually have fixed the frazzled exhaust manifold, thus persuading the wretched thing to stop gassing its occupants by leaking carbon monoxide into the cab). Stuck at a traffic light in the rush hour traffic, I was slightly weirded to note the interesting abstract composition comprising one of those metre-high round blue direction arrow signs, with a lone coffee mug sitting solemnly on top of it, steaming gently. I assume it belonged to the paper-selling gent, but it looked very odd. I would have photographed it but the traffic, fulfilling its nature of Infinite Evil, chose to actually move before I could.

I've just taken the Hobbit to the vet, where it transpires that he is actually chipped: I'm waiting with some dread for the phone call from his (possible) owner, although the identity-chip people sounded more than somewhat vague about the whole thing and it's entirely probable that the info is way out of date. It is a remarkable tribute to his charm and sweetness of character that I still want to keep him despite the fact that he woke me up four times over the course of the night by savagely killing the mat beside my bed. Lots of sliding on the wooden floor, and muffled thumping. I was a bit fragile this morning.

Last night's Middleman was particularly good on the Goofy Middlemism front: "Sweet mother of Nolan Bushnell!", "Story of O!" (that made me snerkle evilly), "Fragments of moonrock!", "Fire and brimstone!", "Ripley's Believe It Or Not!", "Halls of Montezuma!" and "Shores of Tripoli". I was utterly charmed by the opening sequence in the Batter of the Bulge Pancake House (Luftwaffles and Panzer cakes ft slightly politically incorrect w), mostly because I was immediately able to enter the joyous Wendy/Tyler game of Gutwrencher I into my personal, growing collection of Activities Coded As Sex Even Though Technically They Aren't, along with vampire biting and Willow's spell-casting with Tara. It's all so beautifully geeky. Added points for all the spy thriller references and the game of Shibumi, which is possibly the most irresistibly silly thing I've seen in ages. I do, indeed, love this show.
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Bother. My Capacious Handbag o'Doom defaults to a sort of Shub-Niggurath configuration when my MP3 player headphones snarl up with my cellphone charger cable, my camera cable, my tape measure and the random bit of broken-off AV lead that's there because I accidentally snapped it while lugging my dad's TV around. This necessitates the drawing of Elder Signs before I can even start disentangling the tentacles sufficiently to realise that in fact the camera cable, which is the point of the whole exercise, isn't even part of the snarl, because I've packed it neatly into its case. Never be tidy, it's only ever counter-productive. (Also, on a not unrelated note and because various people keep recommending it, The Unspeakable Vault. Both creepy and cute).

I have, however, finally triumphed sufficiently to connect the camera bone to the USB bone, now hear de word of de lord, and thus upload not only some of this weekend's photos, but some of last weekend's as well. We had a Salty Cracker expedition out in the approximate Franschoek direction for lunch yesterday, Bread and Wine at the Môreson wine estate. Lovely place, slightly informal, spacious, and assiduous in moving the whole party out into the shady courtyard the instant it was warm enough to do so. Excellent wine, very good food - not up in the delirious taste experience category of Ginja or Overture, but pretty darned good. The cook makes his own somewhat marvellous charcuterie, which we had for a starter. The dessert menu includes coffee with chocolate truffles, which is simply civilised when one has already overeaten. Also, it's beautiful, and was presenting seriously lovely cloud action, thusly:

Then we came home and watched The Middleman. The Ectoplasmic Panhellenic Investigation is gratifyingly rude about sorority sisters, frequently in wicked imitation, and in the Goofy Middlemisms department gives us "Ghosts of the living!", "by the eyeglasses of T. J. Eckleburg", "Great Caesar's ghost!" and "Holy Wachowski brothers!" Bonus points for ongoing Ghostbusters references, the Second Werewolf Administration, and the obligatory Star Wars quote: "Omega Theta Nu. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." Deliriously happy acronym-fu in the Bio-harmonic Universal Multi-Modular Emotional Rerouter. Love this show.
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Good grief, it's October. Hate it when that happens. All sneaky-uppy on you. And, of course, spring, which means my eyes are perpetually scratchy and my nose itches. Wait, that's why I punched the last three students in the eye. Oops. On the upside, the city smells of new-mown grass, my garden is going "sproing!" in all directions, and I have the crazy impulse to read a lot of e e cummings, stat.

This week has been completely insane, made more so by the fact that I've been completely spaced for most of it. I'm suspecting that the culprit is some kind of low-grade virus, or possibly the rams. I seem to have been in a daze of either socialising, or cooking for same, since about Friday. You know it's a bit of a problem when you go to work to relax and catch up on the internet. (Don't tell the Dean).

I have, however, completely addicted the EL to The Middleman, he initiates watching sessions and sits there snerkling like a loon. (If loons snerkle. Actually, they so do - possibly more of a chortle, but completely demented). Episode 7 is "The Cursed Tuba Contingency", featuring the Bad Guy who is "basically Highlander, with a tuba". Goofy Middlemisms include "Great Barrier Reef!" and "Tropic of Cancer!", suggesting a sort of geographical theme, as well as "Sweet Molly Brown!". Bonus points for the Carpassian Hog Roach, random geeky acronym-fu on the American Shrimp and Crab Amalgamated Processors, and the chorused repetition of the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Yup, still love this show.


Sunday, 27 September 2009 03:12 pm
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Good lord, insane weekend, made slightly more insane by the fact that I'm trying to type this while a large, fluffy, ginger hobbit attempts to sit alternately on my lap, my wrists and my keyboard. Friday night was movies, of which more anon, and Jewel Tavern, which is now in St. George's Mall and still makes damned fine Chinese food in large quantities. Saturday was the very relaxed, very pleasant, rather drunken wedding celebration of [ profile] librsa and [ profile] first_fallen (the drunkenness is all Carlo's fault, him and his shooters, pshaw), with the chance to see all sorts of people I haven't seen in weeks, months or years. Saturday night we broke out another bottle of wine and my new DVD copy of The Middleman, to which we are satisfactorily addicting the Evil Landlord at suitable speed. This morning Michelle abducted me for lunch in Kalk Bay, with champagne. Tonight sven&tanya fed us enormous quantities of lamb. Tomorrow I roll gently into work, almost certainly still drunk, at an advanced hour, and will probably proceed to achieve not much until the fog has cleared, which I confidently predict it'll do around Tuesday. This will be just in time for supper with jo&stv and then book club on Thursday. Memo to self, must really go back to the gym.

Friday night's movie was Up, in 3D, and I cannot recommend it sufficiently highly. Pixar are damned good at what they do, and what they do here is refreshingly lateral, unexpected and at times moving as well as hilarious. Apart from the 3D, which is still magical and actually used with commendable restraint, it's a very good script. The whole thing is slightly off-kilter, galloping off in mad and unexpected directions; the main character is an old man, the main plot doesn't really resemble any Hollywood cliché I can think of, and the whole is leavened with offbeat humour and very human pathos. The initial sequence covering the main character's life with his wife is particularly lovely and extremely lump-in-throatish; the dogs are hilarious, even, or perhaps particularly, to a non-dog-lover.

Where I think the film most succeeds, though, is in its purveyance quite simply of fantasy, in the sense of humdrum existence transported suddenly into colour and excitement: the house and all its rainbow balloons is an extremely potent symbol of uplift, escape and possibility. The slight off-the-wallness of subsequent events is thus perfectly in keeping with what is effectively wish-fulfillment, the happy embrace of the impossible as a fantastic antidote to the mundane. Bonus points for magical floating-balloon-house scenes, Cordon Bleu dog chefs, the Cone of Shame, a randomly demented villain, and Kevin, the giant chocoholic bird who takes on a beautifully-animated and highly endearing life of its own. Above all, though, this is about dreams: how vital they are, how compelling, and how they aren't about what you thought they were about in the first place.

In the Department of Middlemania, Episode 6 is a bit thin on pithy exclamations, although I'm partial to "Holy onions!", "That's dirty pool, I'll clean his clock!", "That really steams my clams!" and "Chocoholics Anonymous!" The episode made me very happy by being intensely rude about boy-bands and plagiarists, and supplying, straight-faced, the phrase "A duck's life hangs in the balance". This show, how I do love it.
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Oh, ADSL, how do I love thee? let me count the ways. The ways your little lights blink on, finally, after two weeks of sullen silence while I swear and Telkom staggers obliviously from incompetence to denial. The way I now actually connect to the internet to fritter my time away with random browsing instead of having to fritter it away with Shadow Magic. The way you're fast, and not given to the temperamental mood swings of the Iburst. The way that I now don't have to endure a four-day weekend without internet access, since that would infallibly result in twitching and bodies buried in the garden. The way that the Evil Landlord's computer is now instantly connected any time he chooses to plug in the cable, which mostly he doesn't owing to paranoia. (What's with that, anyway? your data will all leak away if you leave the ADSL perpetually connected? or will evil hacker pixies steal it?). And the way that I sneakily pay for you, since the EL would never let me pay for the Iburst. Heh.

My Personal Imaginet Guy eventually traced the problem to an improbable concatenation on the Telkom exchange, wherein the whole thing was not converting a TLA number of some sort that I can't remember into an actual phone number, which consequently the Imaginet system couldn't recognise. Rather than telling Telkom to sort out the exchange, which is an unpleasant and frequently futile sort of process, he did a sort of nifty workaround by telling the Imaginet system to recognise the TLA number, and all the magic little lights came on. I still want to marry him.

I watched Zodiac last night, which was sort of meh despite good performances and RDJ. More importantly, the nightly Middlequest continues. Episode 5 gives us, in the Particular Silliness Department, Peruvian flying pike and an energy drink called "!!!!", which you pronounce by stamping your foot and raising your hands while looking startled. (The Middleman himself is particularly cute while doing this). Goofy Middlemisms include "Flowers for Algernon!", "Hot diggety dog!", "Great hearts of palm!" and the trademark "Oh, phooey!", with a new foray into similes: "like a Bengal elephant", and "explode like a sausage casing full of weasels". Points for the first appearance of the villainous catchphrase, "My plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity" and for zombies shambling around demanding "Trooooout!" Did I mention that I love this show?
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Gah. Actual sleep patterns appear to be a luxury in which I am not permitted to indulge. Monday night's drunken movie-watching1 had its inevitable effect, viz. waking up abruptly at about 2.30am when I actually sobered up, and being unable to recapture sleep beyond a fretful doze, punctuated by affection assaults from the hobbit and concomitant cat-wars on the end of my bed. I was a shambling zomboid thing throughout yesterday - I still don't know how I managed to coherently and (apparently) inspirationally address the faculty scholarship cocktail party at short notice after two glasses of wine - and crashed at 8.45 sharp. Then I woke up at 5.30 this morning and was on campus an hour later, radiating virtue. Today is already feeling very, very long. However! I bugger off early to get my hair cut, followed by a four-day weekend rife with weddings, movies, mad socialising and visits from Mich the No-Longer-Flaxen-Haired-Menace, so it can't be all bad.

Wednesday random linkery is random and Wednesdayish. Middlemania Continues! Episode 4 is somewhat low in Goofy Middlemisms, but I am happy to record "Darn tootin'!", "Lord love a duck!", "Whoa there, Cochise!" and "Great hearts of palm!". Rococo Acronym Proliferation gives us the BTRS scanner and HEYDAR to add to O2STK, and Happy Geek Noises for the Great Steam Laser of 1917 and zombie dialogue in Italian ("Cervelli, cervelli! Devono mangiare cervelli!"). Bonus points for incredibly silly bad-plastic-surgery jokes and the cover story that insists that the villain was "trampled and subsequently eaten by a rhino during a hunting trip". I still love this show.

1 Still miffed that "films containing RDJ" is not considered a suitably coherent theme. Just for that, next time it'll be "incredibly silly films about fish." Fish Called Wanda and Life Acquatic. Hah.

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Right, well, that was the second weekend in a row I haven't had internet, and frankly I'm surprised I'm as sane as I am. Two and a half hours on various helplines over two days, half of it with Telkom, ritual ptooey. Imaginet opines that there is nothing wrong with my ADSL setup, the line itself must be faulty. Telkom denies this and attempts to fob me off by insisting I report a technical fault to Imaginet, not them. The Imaginet tech guy has become my absolute hero by admitting that he quite enjoys shouting at Telkom technicians and will be delighted to do so on my behalf. I wonder if he's married?

The ginger tomcat seems to have moved in, taking full advantage of the deep psychological trauma it's caused me to cause Ounce deep psychological trauma by initially shouting at him a lot when he tried to move in. The Evil Landlord is of the opinion that Ginger is actually a hobbit, which I have to admit makes perfect sense: he seems unduly fixated on food, besides the obligatory hairiness, large feet and what appears to be an unhealthy fondness for weed. If he sticks around he's going to have to be Pippin, if only so I can shout "Fool of a Took!" irascibly every time I fall over him for the nine millionth time because he's entwined affectionately around my ankles in the hopes I'm about to offer him second breakfast. In an attempt to forestall this apparently inevitable fate I must still undertake a quick trot around the neighbourhood, possibly with Ginger in a cat box, to see if any nearby household is bewilderedly mourning his loss. Do You Recognise This Cat?:

He's actually very beautiful, and uncommonly teddy-bearish.

The internet debacle was, of course, mitigated somewhat by the usual retreat into The Middleman, panacea to all ills. Goofy Middleman Exclamations Du Jour include "What the monkey?!" "Holy jumping bananas!" "Mutual of Omaha!" "Sweet mother of Preston Tucker!" and "Hot flaming pork buns!". Dagnabbit Count, tragically, at 0 for Episode 3. Interesting time-zone unlikelinesses: Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time, Foxtrot Time, Heure Normale Du Yukon, Coordinated Universal Time, Charlie Time, Zulu Time. Bonus points for unusually delirious silliness: the Hruck Bugbear, the Wu-Han Thumb of Death, O2STK, the Clan of the Pointed Stick, gratuitous quantities of evil Lucha Libre wrestlers and the Dread Pyramid of Itzilichlitlichlitzl. I love this show.
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Yayness! [ profile] herne_kzn and his Lovely Companion are returning to Cape Town in the near future! The LC apparently has a job in Gardens, and the Dynamic Duo are looking for a flat in that approximate vicinity. Please would Capetonians keep their ears to the ground for likely opportunities? You can leave (non-lewd) suggestions on [ profile] herne_kzn's blog or litter the comments here with them.

Gawsh, I'm glad it's Friday. The grad list went up this week, and I've thereafter seen a small, sad trickle of students who, in blissful ignorance of the giant gaping holes in their curriculum choice, fondly imagined they were graduating. Number of students in tears in my office this week: three. Number of insoluble curriculum screw-ups: four. Threats of legal action: one. (Futile, they sign taking liability for their choices whenever they register, thereby acknowledging that curriculum advisors are only human and occasionally miss the aforementioned giant gaping holes). Number of screw-ups for which I was personally responsible, at least as unearthed this week: none, fortunately.

Back to the loving hyper-linguistic arms of The Middleman! Goofy Middleman Exclamations Du Jour: "Katy bar the door!" "As serious as a Hefty bag full of Rottweilers!" "Grapes of Wrath!" "Gobsmackit!" "Aw, phooey!" "Hands across America!" "Sands of Zanzibar!" "Guns of Navarone!" and the perennial favourite, "Dagnabbit!" Bonus pun points for "I've got an heir-lock" and "Elemental, my dear Watson", and sf geek cred for the Frank Herbert Junior High School.
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I have déjà vu. There's a half-grown fluffy ginger tom with a white shirt front who's been wandering into our kitchen of a night and spraying, very slightly, somewhere I can't actually find. In the last couple of days he's become bolder, or possibly desperate, and wanders in while I'm cooking to dive head first into our cats' food bowls with every evidence of starvation, or to stand at the doorway making plaintive meeping noises. He's actually a very sweet and affectionate creature, and will headbutt my ankles and purr if I give him half a chance. This is pretty much the same extremely successful tactical plan followed by Ounce, although I don't think Ginger is a stray, he's very emphatically glossy, fluffy and beautiful. Nonetheless I am losing the will to chase him from the kitchen, which I suspect is a Bad Sign. We really don't need another cat.

In other news: pitch-perfect fairy tale by Catherynn M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making. Shades of Thackeray, Baum, Nesbit, all the good stuff. Matter-of-fact, off-beat, delectable. Look out for the soap golem and the flying leopard.

And, finally, annoying admin this week has driven me back into the arms of The Middleman's hyper-linguistic frivolity. Goofy Middleman Exclamations Du Jour: "Dagnabbit!" "Well, gosh!" "Scout's Honour!" "Swell!" "Shoot!" "Well, dagdiggity!" "Jeepers!" "Regoshdarneddiculous!" "Not a gosh-darned chance in heck!" and, memorably, "that was some darn fine cow-squirt!" Bonus points for the Jolly Fats Wehawkin Temp Agency. I feel much better now.
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The Department of Non-Evil Evil strikes back! My Evil Landlord ambled amiably into my study on Saturday morning, announced "You won't let me buy you a computer so here's something else instead", and dumped a large, flat box in front of me. This, it transpired, contained a 32-inch flat-screen TV which is apparently mine, mine, mine and never leaving. The whole thing appears to be the result of the weird Germanic self-guilt-trip the EL seems to have embraced since that time the house was robbed because he'd wandered out without setting the alarm or locking the security gate. Both our computers were nicked; I replaced mine without too much hassle since I had the money at the time, and I also decline to point fingers at actions taken under the influence of the early-morning fog. (One time I accidentally joined the navy before my first cup of tea). But there has apparently been Brooding. Now there is transferred guilt on account of the ridiculously expensive nature of the gift, even a jointly-enjoyed gift. This, however, is mostly eclipsed by a large helping of girlish glee. I have ordered the DVD set of The Middleman in celebration. I have a sexy, sexy TV into which I shall crawl happily for the foreseeable future.

Now all we need is for Telkom to get off their butts and install our home ADSL. The absolute lack of home Internet for the last week and a half is making me extremely twitchy, particularly since a DNS glitch in the cardboard-and-string systems of my Cherished Institution wantonly deprived me of internet access for most of yesterday. Techno-jinx still prevailing, apparently. Damned cosmic wossnames. There is a small but real possibility that when the Telkom guys do actually arrive, their mutilated corpses will be tactfully buried in the garden just as soon as they've activated the line and I've ripped them limb from limb with vigour, aplomb and a cheesegrater. Also, internet withdrawal seems to give me backache. Well, phooey.
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Woe! am without home internets at the moment, as (yay!) have finally vanquished my dad's computer and consequently have shuffled the Iburst off to him, like a mortal coil, only with more swearing. Telkom promise scout's honour they'll install the ADSL at home this week. Yeah, right. Twitch. On the upside I don't actually have to mud-wrestle them in person since the installation is being dealt with by my own personal Imaginet guy, who is sussed, courteous and quick to respond. He's also a bonus Doctor Who geek, which means the boring set-up emails are leavened with random Captain Jack squees. I feel much safer in the hands of my tribe.

The weekend was, however, almost entirely horrible. I managed to screw up the TV/DVD installation for my dad (snapped the AV cable accidentally while lugging the TV around), spend half the weekend fighting the Iburst drivers before I could take the computer round to him, and fail dismally to assemble the bedside light I'd bought (broken bits when I took it out the packaging). Self 0, Techno-Jinx several quintillion. Situation normal. Also, forgot the Vital Dad Food which I was supposed to bring. Rumours of my complete lack of brain are not exaggerated at all.

However! weekend was resurrected by particularly kick-butt Thai with jo&stv last night, and by the entirely happy and gratuitous discovery of The Middleman, which [ profile] tngr_spacecadet recommended to me lo these many moons ago, and which I've only just got around to watching. It's... a bit indescribable, actually. Men in Black crossed with The X-Files (circa "Jose Chung's From Outer Space") and the deadpan delivery of Wesley from The Princess Bride, with a touch of The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (only sans the acoustic David Bowie in Portuguese). It's straight-faced campy off-the-wall, features incredibly quick and complex dialogue with machine-gun delivery, plays rather fun games with subtitles, pop culture references and comic book stereotypes, and is batshit insane. Also, the lead character combs his hair like a mama's boy from the 1950s and says "dagnabbit", which is one of my favourite expletives ever and which I may have to adopt as the next step in my campaign to boycott the f-word. Also, Sensei Ping. I am totally in love. Possibly because I'm stressed and have no brain, but there you have it. Shall now have to hunt down the comic on which it's based. Oh, and they only made one season. Firefly Effect. Bollocks.


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