Friday, October 29, 2010

Anthems for perverts?

Odd how two of Sting’s most famous songs are what I consider anthems to the less savoury type of human beings in this world.

The Stalker’s Anthem – “Every Breath You Take

The Pedophile’s Anthem – “Don't Stand So Close To Me"

Time to call The Police, do you think? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA*!

(*If you're wondering why I'm haha-ing, it can only be because you didn't know that Sting belonged to a band called "The Police". NOW you can laugh at the pun!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The 10-years-together anniversary meme

I read an article recently which said that the longer a couple are married, the less they know about each other’s doings and thoughts. Which - because Pete and I have been married for 8 years, with the 10th anniversary of the day we met being 26th Oct - led me to reflect on us as a couple.

I probably know more about Pete and his family than he does about mine – but it’s easy for me because he has only one brother and no cousins to speak of, and nobody he really meets on his dad’s side. I know more about my MIL’s family, partly because she has more family than my FIL, but mainly because I’ve been told about them and met some of them... whereas I have two siblings and more uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces on both sides of the family to populate a small town in the UK. This, coupled with the difficult-for-Pete-to-remember names as well as the multiple Kumars and Radhas and Sujathas and Hemas (to mention just a few names) who are part of the extended family, makes it pretty hard for Pete to keep track of them. I do catechise him on the main members of the family off and on, just to keep him on his toes, and I have to say he does pretty creditably, considering.

The list of questions which were posed to the couples (in the article) was given at the end of the piece, so I decided to hijack them and answer them – and I got Pete to do so as well.

What is your partner’s favourite way to eat an egg?
My answer: Poached, on toast (Correct)
Pete’s answer: With me (Correct).

What is your partner’s favourite city?
My answer: Dublin (Correct)
Pete’s answer: New York (Correct).

Who, given the sole choice, would your partner invite round to dinner?
My answer: My mother (Correct).
Pete’s answer: Me. (hmmm.... oh ok, Correct) :)

What part of your partner is she/he most embarrassed about?
My answer: Stubby fingers (Unconfirmed, unless "hmmm" means something)
Pete's answer: Smelly armpits (Wrong!) (No further clarifications, sorry) (His explanation: IF your armpits were smelly, which they are not, you would be embarrassed.)

Your partner wins a sizeable sum – how would they spend it?
My answer: Buying enough speakers, amps, and other such items to wire every Glastonbury concert for sound and light. (Wrong! Correct answer: Travelling with me. Pete's explanation: I have enough stuff to keep me knackered!)
Pete's answer: On me. (Hmmm.....)

What animal is your partner most scared of?
My answer: Spiders. (Correct.)
Pete's answer: Spiders - not animals, but still. (Correct)

What would be your partner’s favourite job, other than the one they are doing now?
My answer: Being a sound engineer for large music festivals. (Wrong! Again! Arrrgh! Pete's clarification: Would not want to do it as a job … Fantasy job yes but not for real)
Pete's answer: Looking after me. (Correct. Perhaps I should have said Wrong. Is he beginning to sound just a teeeeeeeeeeny bit complacent?)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reality TV and me

Although I’m not a fan of “reality TV” shows, especially the completely inane ones like Big Brother, Pleasure Island, Fear Factor and so on and so on, I have to confess that I do watch and actively enjoy shows like America’s Next Top Model (note that I do not include Australia’s/Canada’s/Britain’s or any other country’s spin-off series), Runway, Catwalk etc.

While I don’t consider any reality shows to be high-brow - because reality TV doesn’t lend itself to intellect either on the part of the makers or on the part of the partakers - I certainly do think that the shows I like tend to require more in the way of talent and creativity from the participants. I also believe that one can actually learn something from America’s Next Top Model, if one is of a mind to, and if one has the ability to.

I hasten to add that I believe it’s only from Tyra Banks that one can learn; yes, she is ridiculously twee sometimes (for example, coining the word “smise”, which apparently means “to smile with the eyes”), but she is the only person I can think of who can also actually DO what she describes, which is to convey emotions through her eyes and with her body language. And yes, that includes “smise”. I think she’s totally professional and competent when it comes to anything to do with modelling - and a hugely intelligent person if it comes to that – and that her flagship show is the slickest of slick productions. Anyway, those are the reasons I watch America’s Next Top Model - not because I want to learn to “smise”.

As for Catwalk and Runway, they’re interesting mainly because I’m deeply in awe of the talent that the wannabe designers display in coming up with amazing designs and actually stitching them without any help in the limited time available to them. But also, I’m always curious about testing my idea of beautiful, whether it’s to do with clothes or people, against the decisions of the “judges” of those shows.

I know that I’m not good at “thinking out of the box” in terms of creativity. I couldn’t come up with original creative ideas or designs to save my life. But because I know of that shortcoming in myself, I’m always looking for validation of the choices I make when I watch such shows. Do I have good taste or don't I? I do know that there’s no such thing as the “right” choice, that tastes differ and so do opinions, but what I try to do is learn to appreciate other people’s point of view and see the clothes through their eyes. Basically, to see beauty in the unconventional.

Sometimes the judges and I come to the same conclusion, but for different reasons, and that’s what I try to learn from. More often than not, especially when it comes to clothes designs, my “winner” turns out to be the loser because, as the judges put it, the designer “played it too safe” in designing the outfit. And that is when I know that I too had probably played it safe in making my choice.

Then again, sometimes the winning outfit is so outlandishly ugly that it’s the clinching factor in proving, entirely to my satisfaction, that the judges have just displayed neither good taste nor discernment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Call this news?

“Shopping sprees could include splashing out on a £12 million Ferrari 250 GTO, a week in a private villa on Mustique for a cool £85,000, or a couple of private jets - a Boeing 767 costs around £56 million.
Alternatively, the ticket-holder may decide to put it all in the bank.”

You’d be forgiven for thinking this extract is from a tabloid, but you’d be wrong. VERY wrong. This is from a “news” item in The Telegraph, one of the more respected – and supposedly respectable – newspapers in the UK.

Since when was speculation considered “news”? Is the alternative proposed by the writer the ONLY other alternative? Why would the winner buy just one £12 million Ferrari? Why not 8 such Ferraris, with the remaining £5 million on a garage to house them? Why just a week in a private villa? Why not a year? Why not 113 separate houses costing £1 million each? Or maybe 226 houses for £500,000 each?

And while the reporter is writing such “news”, why not speculate that the winner could also well give every last penny of the lottery winnings to charity or – as likely as any of the other possibilities – to the reporter himself/herself?

Also, what makes the newspaper think that it is a “Briton” who’s won all this money? Why can’t it be an immigrant who’s not a British citizen? Wouldn't that just be a poke in the eye for every tabloid including The Telegraph!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Why Stephen King is like God

Let me explain.

I'm currently three-fourths of the way through the expanded version of Stephen King's novel "The Stand". I've read it before but it's well worth another read. It's a marathon of a book at a total of 1325 pages, but it is also, to me, one of the most riveting reads ever. It's an epic. It's a classic. It will also NEVER be a textbook - I hope. That way, no dunce of a Literature student or a hack of a Literature teacher will get the opportunity to pick it to pieces in a bid to explain the magic of this amazing writer's genius ability to draw his reader deep, deeper and deeper still into the story...

But I digress. I was going to tell you why Stephen King is like God.

Okay, this is why. You can pray as much as you like for the hero/heroines, wish as hard as you want that they will not die, scream yourself hoarse begging him not to kill off the good guys, the interesting guys, the guys he gets you to admire and love... you could have a titanic conniption right at his feet for all the good it does. The good ones still get killed off, just as if you'd never said a word. If that sort of monumental indifference isn't godlike, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Out of this world stupid

If you saw an advertisement where a snake crawls suggestively over a naked woman’s body, would you think of:

a. Perfume

b. Fruit juice

c. Body lotion

If your answer is b, purely on the basis of this question, you’re obviously the moron who came up with the idea for the advt in the first place. Did you ask to be taken to our leader when you first arrived on Planet Earth?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Guess who's William Shatner's newest fan? (psst... he was Capt Kirk in Star Trek)

I wasn’t a fan of William Shatner until fairly recently, when I saw a comedy roast where he was the guest of honour. The roasters outdid one another in filthy language and tasteless references to Shatner, but there was nothing even remotely funny for nearly the whole of the programme – until the end, when Shatner rose to “defend” himself. He was absolutely hilarious and every shot of his zinged home unerringly. His sense of humour and timing were impeccable, and that was the day he gained himself another fan. I’d not seen him in anything other than the original Star Trek as Capt James T Kirk, most famous for shagging anything vaguely reminiscent of the female of the species, so he was pretty much a one-dimensional character to me. I thought he’d be a monumental bore as a person – but now that I’ve read his memoirs, I’m pretty sure that “boring” is not a word that would ever describe him. In fact, I’m wishing I could meet him!

The reason for this total makeover of my opinion of Shatner is his autobiography entitled “Up Till Now”. He is side-splittingly funny, with the sort of deadpan humour I adore. I was reading the book at work and from time to time I had to put it away and remove myself to the bathroom so that I could work off the fits of the giggles that came over me. I loved his wry reminiscences and his ability to poke fun at himself, and I was hugely impressed by all the things that he’s done in his lifetime – for instance, I didn’t know that he was a stage actor for a long time, that he did most of his stunts himself, that he wrote successful novels and screenplays, that he did so much for charity… and so on and so on. But then again, I knew literally nothing about Shatner and his life inside and outside of movies - other than he was the hero of Star Trek. So everything he wrote about himself was new information to me.

Getting back to his memoirs, what I love above all is that he does not seem to have succumbed to the pressures of fame and become an alcoholic or drug addict or both, like practically every Hollywood actor seems to have done at some point. At least, the impression I get from his book is that Shatner was too involved with his work to ever bother with those vices – even at his lowest points when he thought he would never make any money. Sure, he did by his own admission not shy away from women when he was between marriages, but compared to celebrities today, he was practically celibate. AND he seems to have a genuinely loving relationship with his three daughters, which is even more awesome

Yep, it’s definite. I admire William Shatner intensely, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I also wholeheartedly recommend “Up Till Now”. You won’t regret reading it, and you’ll definitely get a lot of laughs out of it.