Saturday, May 17, 2003

Back my popular demand ( well Paul the Postman seemed to like my last post) I thought I'd have another go at the Friday Five, however, because I'm a day late it has become the Saturday Six:

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?
What can I say I'm a cheapskate, I like my water straight from the tap; but then the water here in Sheffield does actually taste pretty good.

2. What are your favorite flavor of chips?
Being the semi-vegetarian that I am, my favourite flavour of crips (sic) is "Smokey Bacon". But that is near the secure knowledge that the crisps have not been anywhere remotely near a pig.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?
One thing I do love is Double Chocolate Cheesecake. It's easy to make (although my lovely hubsand did wonder why I'd go to all that trouble, that was until he tasted it) and it tastes bloody wonderful, even if I do say so myself.
Mind you usually the best food of all is what somebody else has made, just because you haven't had the trouble of making it. My darling Pat making breakfast for me is just the best thing ever.

4. How do you have your eggs?
Eggs are just great, how are you meant to pick only one styling. I do like them scrambled, poached, even boiled; I can make a mean omlette but I really don't like them. But the best way to eat an egg is in a fried egg sandwich with mushrooms and HP sauce. I'm starting to drool just thinking about it. (And I'm making my husband sick in the process - he does not like the fried egg.)

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?
The last time I had a meal cooked for me, rather than cooking it myself was two weeks ago. My Mum cooked us Sunday lunch when we'd just got back from being spoiled by Pat's Mum in Scarborough. We had roast chicken, with potatoes, stuffing and two veg, followed by Cadbury's Chocolate Trifle and it was great. And just to top off the afternoon we then all went to see "X2", now that's a way to spend a Sunday.

6. What unusual food stuffs are found only in your city?Henderson's Relish - it's a bit like Worcestershire Sauce, but not. Apparently it's a must on Meat and Potato Pie, not that I would know, but my Mum adds it to her Spaghetti Bolognese, which is why its so much better than mine.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Man, Carrington Vanston's MOVIE PUNKS is funny...

Somewhat earlier than is usual, and with a rewarding lack of ceremonial frippery, it's FRIDAY FIVE time again!

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?
Though I have been known to pay through the nose for a bottle of fancy-schmancy bottled water, sometimes just to prove that I can afford to spare the exhorbitant shekels required for the assumed social kudos that such profligate cash-splashing affords, I tend to just keep it prole and load up my previously-purchased bottle of pseudo-spa water with that from the tap. I doubt that onlookers, or those rare people who share my drink are that much the wiser. Or that they even care.

2. What are your favourite flavor of chips?
Simple. I love those chips - 'crisps' to those of us blogging in the UK - made by a company who package their line of edibles in a lovely cardboard tube. Any flavour will do, as they've stopped selling my favourites, which were cheese or the ridged, ready-salted ones. Nowadays, I go for the 'cream cheese and chives' variety, or the 'Texan Bar B-Q'.

It's true what they say about those crisps - "Once you pop, you can't stop..."

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?
I'm fairly pathetic in the kitchen, but I like to occasionally make Chilli, and I at least try to participate in the preparation of meals if I can, or if my wife needs me to. She loves to cook. And she's excellent at it. My kitchen skillset is predominantly the subsequent washing-up of the pots and pans, and I'm damned good at it.

4. How do you have your eggs?

Scrambled, on white toast, with turkey rashers, mushrooms and baked beans, whilst watching "The PowerPuff Girls" on Cartoon Network, or something on Discovery Home & Leisure. Is that too specific?

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?
My wife, early yesterday evening, when we had Chilli and rice. It was lovely, as always. We may have freaked out my wife's dog, Ella, who was most peturbed that we were not including her in this lovely repaste (She had just had her tea, as I recall, but Ella's memory of when she's just eaten is not that fabulous...).

Courtesy of your actual Darth Phil, I present a link to possibly the most nerve-grindingly frustrating online gaming experience you'll have encountered for a long while. Don't play this at work on your PC or the damn thing will be going out of the window in two minutes flat.

It's worse, even, Oh Lovely, Wholly Righteous K., than the unremitting, neo-Satanic difficulty of MTV's digital telly game, "Mugshot Mania", which was apparently created by somebody who didn't get enough hugs as a child and felt the need to take out their loss on the world by crafting a fiendishly tricky platformer precisely designed to mess with your mind, make you question your sanity and generally weep out loud in frustration as you try to avoid guards, regain the scattered bits of your camera phone and generally escape the cruelly indifferent bad guys, sub-Miyamoto style.

If you have Sky Digital, press the red button on Channel 440 and book an appointment with a good hair-replacement clinic for immediately afterwards - you'll be needing their skills to replace the follicles you've ripped out whilst playing this game.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

I'm not quite nervous yet, but the reviews that I've read to date for "The Matrix Reloaded" seem downright muted, if not quite hostile.

A repeated note in many published critiques appears to be a sense of disappointment that the movie doesn't exactly live up to the impact of the original 1999 installment, that the action in the picture exists solely to look cool and never once moves the story forward, that much of the plot is driven onwards by the use/overuse of ponderously-extended monologue and extensive, lengthy philosophical discourses on the nature of choice, the responsibilities which subsequently follow the act and lots of other stuff guaranteed to get psych majors and sociology professors hot and bothered.

It's vexing, but not exactly unexpected. In 1999, "The Matrix" snuck in the back door and royally decked the expected hot button SF hit of the year, George Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace", by adding a pleasingly cerebral patina to it's overtly obvious arsenal of eye-popping visuals, SFX innovation and sheer, visceral impact. The subtext, as is so often the case, was there if you wanted to look for it, but didn't exactly make a nuisance of itself and overwhelm the movie. Many critics, this time around, appear to be aiming modest, understated, but definitely apparent barbs at "...Reloaded" for it's apparent crime of daring to imagine that the picture's audience are prepared to sit through lengthy intellectual asides and philosophical sidebars.

Those appalling Wachowski brothers, presuming to imagine that their audience have a brain in their heads...

For my part, I really want to reserve judgment on the movie until next Wednesday evening, when I finally get to see the Wachowski's latest cinematic offering for myself - I took my very sanity in trembling hands this morning and hacked through the digital undergrowth of my local cinema's advanced telephone booking system to reserve tickets for Righteous K. and your blogsmith, so the end-result will hopefully be worth braving the computer-activated soporific vocal avatar for. I have every reason to believe that it will be, but these early reviews are hopefully just the product of deadline-pressured writers seeing the movie once, duelling with the demands of publicity-predicated imbargos and then scribbling a tetchy review just to be bloody-minded.

There's an intriguing and only slightly pretentious example of this over at the New York Times website, which is worth reading (You'll have to register for the pleasure, but it's arguably worth it...) Click HERE for more.

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