Category Archives: reBlogged

Stuff from all my other blogs and journals

2019 Films and stuff

As usual, a rundown of the new films I saw this year – from least liked to most liked.

  • Ghost Dance – this was a short that I saw alongside The Deathless Woman and like… I just don’t get it. It’s not something I would have chosen to watch (I was there to see the main film) so I guess that’s why it’s at the least liked spot on the list.
  • Color Out of Space – I guess I was expecting something more horror? I’m not that keen on horror but I thought I’d give weird-horror a try and like this wasn’t even that weird.
  • Little Joe –  This was ok and did the “a bit unsettling” thing well but also it was a bit boring.
  • Guest of Honour – This was ok also.
  • Faustina: Love and Mercy – My Mum wanted to see this so I got tickets for us both. It’s kind of billed as a docudrama and I guess I was expecting more of a narrative of the life of St Faustina. It’s more maybe a quarter about St Faustina, a third about Blessed Fr Michael Sopocko trying to get the cause of Divine Mercy really going and then the rest is about Divine Mercy and works that current sisters do.
  • The Deathless Woman – So the director of this film was talking about it when I saw it and she mentioned how it’s kind of like how you might present a documentary as a theatrical production, which was an interesting approach. I was aware that there is had been a lot of persecution of the Roma during the Second World War and that now there is a lot of anti-Roma (and Traveller) sentiment and action, but I hadn’t really realised that the violence they experience was at this level.
  • The King  – I mean, I don’t know that this needed to be made? It’s a fairly standard King of England goes to war with France kind of thing. The funniest part was how one of the filmmakers at the screening I saw talked about how they’d really boosted the parts for women and haha they really have not.
  • To Live To Sing – So Chinese opera is not everyone’s cup of tea but I like that sort of thing and this was a really touching story about the head of an opera troop’s struggle to keep the group together and their art alive.
  • Abominable  – I am saw this and really wanted to eat buns but I had to dash off to see another film and didn’t have time.
  • Tell Me Who I Am  – I didn’t know anything about this going in other than one brother had totally lost his memory and his twin brother knew everything and I think if you are going to see it, maybe find out what happened to the two brothers in advance.
  • Judy & Punch – All of the things that happen in a Punch & Judy show are in like the first half and there is a thing that happens and everyone laughed and then realised, wait, these are not puppets.
  • Mr Jones – I guess we know Stalin was terrible, but the news hadn’t quite gotten out in 1933.
  • Western Stars – This is just Springsteen playing the music from his album and then doing some talky-musing bits in between. It was ok and the msuic was nice.
  • Jojo Rabbit – As much as imaginary friend Hitler was amusing for a while, I don’t know that he was necessary for the whole film but I guess he was in the book?
  • Le Mans ’66 – Everywhere else (everywhere North American maybe) this film is called Ford Vs Ferrari like no one knows anything about what happens at Le Mans or…who knows really. I guess this is better for people who aren’t big racing fans, but I did enjoy it.
  • Synchronic – This was my 10th most liked film of the year which I wasn’t expecting. I feel like perhaps a lot of people may have found this to be better than they thought it was going to be. It handles the time travel in a new, interesting way and Anthony Mackie is really great in this.
  • The Red Sea Diving Resort – I knew a little about the stuff that happens in this film, but not really the extent of what went on. It’s also nice to see Chris Evans in a not-Captain-America role.
  • The Two Popes – I saw this at LFF where I sat between a priest and an old dude who shushed the priest for eating crisps towards the beginning of the film.  Is The Two Popes  entirely factual? No. Does it give an accurate portrayal of the personalities of Popes Benedict and Francis? Hard to say. Is it enjoyable anyway? Yes. The main thing is that it really reminds us that these two men are human, like the rest of us.
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home – What even happened in this film? Oh yeah, Peter Parker travelled around Europe and stuff. There have been a lot of Spider-Man films over the years. This was fun.
  • Avengers: Endgame – Pretty much 6th most liked film on the list because of my extreme fondness for Captain America and the Winter Soldier. Not sure that it really ended this era of Marvel films in a way that totally made sense (although yeah, it did cement my opinion that Tony Stark is terrible – which considering that everyone who makes these films seems to adore him, probably says something). Interested to see where things go next. Kind of not into having to get Disney plus to do so. Maybe if I wait long enough it’ll all just be on regular freeview tv.
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – JJ Abrams did an extremely JJ Abrams thing in this film and that was kind of rubbish. I still think that he used Star Trek as a stepping stone to get to Star Wars, which ok, fair enough if you’re a big fan of Star Wars. At the same time, I think he’s stuck on his nostalgia for the original trilogy and maybe that leads to some weird decisions (plus, while I get that Carrie Fisher passing away did make plotting this tricky, it’s not well written). Despite all of this, I still love Star Wars and the performances from all the actors. Would have liked MORE droid stuff.
  • Pokemon Detective Pikachu – For a really long time, I didn’t think this was a real film and then it showed up at the cinema and it was great. Really great.
  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – So I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a Keanu Reeves film that I did not enjoy. Sure there are a few that I’m not going to see because of the premise of the films, but I’ve watched nearly everything else probably and there is not a single dud. John Wick is great. The universe that has been created is fascinating and I’m excited to see the next film to see what happens next.
  • Knives Out – There are more films with Chris Evans than I was expecting tbh. This was everything I love about watching Miss Marple and Poirot over and over and over but new and hilarious.
  • Captain Marvel – I think where maybe Endgame and Infinity War falter is that they are straight up superhero films. They’re not like, a particular type of film that happens to have superheroes in. Captain Marvel is one of those late 80s/early 90s action movie films where Tom Cruise or Harrison Ford might have played the hero and won the day, except way better because it has Carol Danvers and is in SPACE and like I saw this waaaay back in the first quarter of 2019 and it’s still at the top of my list. This is the film that, having considered and compared all the other new films I saw in 2019, still came out in front.

Anyway my ratings etc are all over here on Letterboxd and starting my yearly rating list at the beginning of the year and just adding to it throughout, rearranging as I go, continues to be one of the best ideas I have ever had.

I know this is titled 2019 Films and stuff but it’s 2020 now and I don’t remember what the “and stuff” was going to be, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Happy New Year!

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

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Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

Or actually, not really. Just some minor griping about some stuff going on with the local church.

The priest at my church has had to go away for some sort of personal reasons, but the really interesting thing is how he and other priests belonging to their particular group keep going about a bunch of things – like they’re laying the groundwork for their own inability to remain as parish priests at my church.

The first thing seems to be kind of an obsession with the devil – how they can sense something at the church. What it really sound like, is a preoccupation with satan coupled with the new experience of living in a very quiet area, in a house that creaks like a normal house of its age, having previously only lived in busy cities and/or in community.

Then they’re convinced there is a witch down the road up to no good against them and the church.

And then… going on and on about how various parish priests have come to the church, gotten sick and then died. Which might work when told to some people, but doesn’t work when told to people who have known our parish priests very well over the years. The priests who were sick all arrived with existing health problems (and they conveniently neglect to remember a recent priest who is very much alive, appears hale and healthy but the rest of us know he has had lung problems for a long time) or just got old, and the normal things that come with old age occurred (also forgetting the priest who baptised me at our church who is now both extremely old but also, still alive lol).

Like, guys, the thing that there is in common about the priests who seem to have problems with satan at church are that you belong to this one group and like, you don’t seem to have enough faith or trust in God that He will take care of you which is like a big problem when you are a priest.

And don’t get me started on how saving money is apparently more important than saving souls.

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Saturday the 14th

It’s not quite time for my end of year film list (since I have at least one new film left to watch this year) but there have been things I’ve been thinking about writing down for probably a month now and just haven’t so here are some of those things.

  • I read an article about morning routine stories and how the right kind of morning routine is supposed to be able to make you more productive and how recently they’ve kind of morphed into a kind of self-care space and then went on to talk other ideas developing on from that. My weekday morning routine is to wake at 7am, visit the bathroom, fill my water bottle, put out my cereal bar and make a cup of tea that I then take upstairs and put on the bedside table. Then I get right on back into bed and go to sleep until the radio turns on at 7.30am and I find that past-me has kindly made now-me a cup of tea.
    And then like, get ready for work, leave the house, blah blah blah.
  • Still haven’t gotten the crib down from on top of the wardrobe to set it up downstairs for Christmas. Feels like it will be a lot of effort, although it will be the same amount of effort that it is every year and it’s just me that changes. The last couple of months have been kind of vague-feeling and I’ve been studiously ignoring it and buying tickets for things to look forward to instead. One week left until the days start getting longer again, maybe that will help too.
  • The election. Ugh. That’s not helped. I don’t get how people can throw the poor, sick, vulnerable, marginalised etc under the bus and for what? The people I know who’ve voted Conservative are certainly not going to profit from it and just, ugh. So many things. Briefly looked into whether emigrating to Germany or the Netherlands was possible. Considered moving to Scotland. Thought about the religious life again (although that’s a thing I think about on and off and just haven’t ruled out). And being right about what the new government will do doesn’t even have the satisfaction of being able to say “I told you so” because it will be a tragedy. I suppose a Conservative vote is a selfish vote but how does being selfish uplift society? If we don’t help everyone up, even a little bit, then how can we progress and make great new discoveries? I guess I watch too much Star Trek.
  • I basically need a TV channel that is Agatha Christie all the time. All the Marples. David Suchet’s Poirot. Tommy and Tuppence. Just that and nothing else.
  • I’d probably take a bird table livestream too.
  • If the psychiatric hospitals hadn’t been shut down  20-odd years ago, would the mental health of the nation be better now? I don’t know the answer to that, but the resource would be there at least.
  • Of course, I can’t remember most of the things I was thinking about writing down for the last month.

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Tweets for 2019-08-10

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Sleeves

Today I’m wearing a dress that my Mum made for me a few years ago. She made two dresses at the time but it’s only occurred to me now, that that’s when she really understood the trouble I have with getting shirts and dresses that fit properly across my shoulders and allow me to still move my arms.

The dresses don’t have sleeves because she had such trouble having to alter them away from their original patterns to make them fit that she decided to cut her losses. LOL.

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Sleeves

Today I’m wearing a dress that my Mum made for me a few years ago. She made two dresses at the time but it’s only occurred to me now, that that’s when she really understood the trouble I have with getting shirts and dresses that fit properly across my shoulders and allow me to still move my arms.

The dresses don’t have sleeves because she had such trouble having to alter them away from their original patterns to make them fit that she decided to cut her losses. LOL.

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Sleeves

Today I’m wearing a dress that my Mum made for me a few years ago. She made two dresses at the time but it’s only occurred to me now, that that’s when she really understood the trouble I have with getting shirts and dresses that fit properly across my shoulders and allow me to still move my arms.

The dresses don’t have sleeves because she had such trouble having to alter them away from their original patterns to make them fit that she decided to cut her losses. LOL.

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Something broken about this

Yeah, I used the Hozier fanfic title generator for this post, what of it.

Anyway, overdoing it with online gaming coupled with a busy period at work has done a number on my RSI, so obviously here I am writing about it, using the very instrument of my downfall. It’s kind of a pain because (other than the obvious actual physical pain etc) I want to support what’s left of my alliance even though we’re kind of a bit scuppered by everyone getting kind of burnt out and there not being anyone who really wants to lead ops. Probably doesn’t help that when you do try to do some leader-stuff, no one really follows instructions.

So, no gaming. Watching stuff or reading stuff only. Got an appointment with the doctor, who’s probably just going to tell me the same as before. Wondering if I need to do something to make the muscles in my forearms stronger and then maybe this would happen less?

It’s kind of a downer since I socialise a lot online and this makes it difficult. The discomfort in my arms is kind of a downer on its own.

Maybe I should get arm-warmers.

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Gigs without phones

The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”

A few nights ago I saw Jack White in concert. It was a wonderful night, and a big part of that was due to a new rule he has imposed on all his tour dates: no phones.

When you arrive, you have to put your phone into a neoprene pouch, supplied by a company called Yondr, which they lock and give back to you. If you want to use your phone during the show, you can go into the concourse and unlock it by touching it to one of several unlocking bases. The concert area itself remains screen-free.

The effect was immediately noticeable upon entering the concert bowl. Aside from the time-travel-like strangeness of seeing a crowd devoid of blue screens, there was a palpable sense of engagement, as though—and it sounds so strange to say it—everyone came just so they could be there.

People were visibly enjoying the opening band, at least in part because that band no longer compete with the entire internet for the crowd’s attention. Even the crowd’s milling around and chatting between acts was so much more lively. People were either talking to their neighbors, or taking in the room. And everyone taking in the room was taking in the same room. It felt great.

This is an interesting article but, for me at least, a weird one. I don’t have a smartphone. My phone is about 15 years old and the reason I keep it is because I have 4 days battery life and really…what do I need a phone for? The odd text message. The odd phone call. That’s it.

Need directions to a place? I look them up beforehand, or ask someone nearby or just like… do what I’ve done on occasion and just… look around and pick the direction that seems right. That last one I did in Paris because I don’t speak French but at the same time I just didn’t want to talk to anyone anyway. Did I get where I wanted to go? Actually yes. Did it take a long time? No, because somehow I picked the right direction.

But back to gigs.

The article says “everyone came just so they could be there” – which I think would have been true even if everyone could have kept their smartphones. I’ve been to the odd gig where the artist performing has been pretty hyped in the press and you can see the subset of the crowd who is there so that they can say that they were there (you can kind of tell who they are, because they tend to be standing in circles talking to each other at the tops of their voices all the way through and it would probably have been cheaper to hang with their friends in a pub or something).

I can’t say that I’ve personally felt the black hole of disengagement from the smartphone using crowd around me. Perhaps it’s the fans that the artists I go to see attract? Anyone who shows up for the support acts is always there to actually see the support act that their ticket money is going towards. Sure, people use their phones between acts – but that doesn’t prevent the crowd doing an impromptu sing-a-long to the Queen song that drifts out of the speakers while we wait.

But yeah. I don’t have a smartphone. I go to gigs on my own. Sometimes I’ll talk to the people around me (nearly all of whom have smartphones in their pockets). Mostly, I like being there and hearing the people chatting around me but I don’t necessarily have anything to say to them. I’m content to sit or stand and just wait – I don’t need the constant entertainment of a phone or conversation with another person. So maybe the change that the author of the article experiences wasn’t because everyone around them didn’t have a phone, but primarily because they personally didn’t have a phone. All of the things they talk about people doing at the gig without their phones, they have been doing at all the gigs where they had their phones – the author just didn’t notice.

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