Friday, March 31, 2006

Just wonderful!

Living where I am and writing what I do, I was so so impressed by Episode 11 of Supernatural - Scarecrow!

It's just great!

I'm off my head!

Well I did it last year and have decided that I am just crazy enough to go for it this year too, with a six month old baby no less!

Check it out yourselves!

3 Day Novel Contest

Wish me luck and I hope you lot will be here with me as I catalogue it, just as I did last time!

Extract from last comptetition's journal entry

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It seems the curse has lifted.

Since my last two whines about crap film and TV, things have brightened up. Yesterday we watched Brokeback Mountain, which I thought was a very good film and extremely well directed. Etina hated it though and so there were mixed reviews in the Östra household!

I have also watched two more episodes of Supernatural (Episodes 9: Home and 10: Asylum), which were both great too.

Feeling positive now as I wonder what cinematic treat Etina has selected for us this evening...

If you are wondering why I have seen so much in the way of TV and film recently, it is because I am trying to encourage my wife to chill and relax before delivery and those who know Etina well know that that is very hard to do! I feel I've succeeded here (in fact she's been sleeping in the living room for the last two and a half hours now)!

Tv star... I wish!

I think this post is going to appeal more to those of a Swedish background, as today I took part in a children's quiz show, called Vi i femman (Us in the Fifth Grade), which is a popular programme in this part of the world (or so I've heard).

When I first heard about the programme I thought 'cool, I can wear my Burnley shirt and promote my home town a little!' However, that was not to be as the Swedes were determined to make this a stereotype rules kind of affair and had the three Englishman in dark suits, complete with bowler hats and umbrellas! I'd pretty much decided not to be involved at that point but Etina was determined it would be fun and pushed me in the direction of the studio.

Basically I was on screen about 30 seconds and had to read out a sentence in English that the contestants had to translate into Swedish. I felt the sentences were far too easy for the kids and they responded by getting everything right (both teams).

It was a good way of seeing how TV works as we were asked to sit there for three and half hours while waiting for our 'big' moment. We got to see how the bits and pieces fit together and TV truly is a boring industry and I'm glad I haven't moved in that direction (yet).

For those living in Sweden, if you want to see me looking like a 'proper Englishman' (which doesn't happen very often) then switch on on Good Friday, 14th April and see yours truly in action. I don't know what time it's on but I'm sure you can find out on the net, or TV magazine. If anyone has a DVD recorder is there any chance you could copy the episode as I want to send it to my family in Burnley (and give em a laugh)?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

That Shadow Box review

As there were quite a lot on my flist that requested news of its arrival, I can now inform you all that my Shadow Box review has been published for your perusal!

Shadow Box Review

Here is the link if you are interested in buying said boxed set:

Shadow Box Purchase

Great soundtrack, shame about the film!

Well the curse continues as tonight I was stupid enough to sit through the boring, dragged out and woeful film that is Kundun.

That the film is slow, tedious and badly acted is one thing but the fact that the characters can't decide whether it is better to speak Tibetan or English is damn annoying. It is a breath of fresh air when a film takes place in a country and the characters speak the language they are expected too...

...there is such a thing as subtitles you know!

I'm off to bed now but I bet I don't sleep! (Then again if I have trouble, I'll just put Kundun on again!)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Disappointing Viewing

I'm a magnet for weak film and tv just at the moment and so stay away from me... no, I mean it. Over the last 20 hours I have watched:

Crash - a review will be appearing soon but how on Earth did this film win an Oscar, do middle-of-the-road mainstream films win Oscars? Oh wait a minute... don't answer that one or we'll be here all day!

Supernatural - I have been very impressed with this series although Episode 8: Bugs was a pile of junk!

Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion - as I know a few of my flist across the pond aren't up to speed on this series, I won't give any spoilers here but merely say that this is one hell of an atrocious episode and I cannot understand the success of this programme if they are to keep up with this base humour, weak storylines and insipid characters.

Help, I want to watch something good (I have Wolf Creek as a film on this list and the first episode of Deadwood to watch)!

On the plus side me and the wife started our The Simpsons marathon last night with Season One, Episode One (yes we are going through all 17 seasons, one by one)! It were great!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The new and improved resolution slot!

Yes I know you can't have 'new and improved' together as if it is new then there has never been anything before it and if it is improved there has to have been something before it... urggh!

Well it's shorter and tidier now as there are no 'father', 'board games', 'books' (as it is the genre books we are looking at) and 'mutual live journal friends' (as that has now ended successfully) sections, and so this makes for a more compact list.

So then:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
60 / 170

Must be good, over 35% with less than three months of the year gone!

Zokutou word meter
0 / 8

Bollocks! Pants!

Books in Fantasy/Horror Genre:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 52

It's looking tougher by the week!

Dickens Books:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1 / 5

Well it's going to mess up the 'fantasy/horror' one but I'm on book two now!

Short Stories:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2 / 10

I'm struggling here; I had a fantastic dream, which became an idea for a story and I forgot the bloody thing!

Well it seems a bit negative all-in-all but I'm not feeling that way as I've taken off a few that I am doing well with and I have already completed one and some of the others were a bit silly to put together (i.e. Dickens and fantasy/horror).

Let's see how it looks next week (when I should be a dad)!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Jimi Hendrix... who?

Ha ha, I can't even hold it properly!

I'm so looking forward to learning how to play this!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

One of those posts...

After reading a couple of news articles and seeing a couple of LJ user's avatars, I feel the need:

McDonalds - no workers rights and low pay masters - I hate you!
Starbucks - embodiment of all that is rotten about capitalism - I hate you!
Nestlé - for child labour and for being massive arms funders - I hate you!
L'Oreal - for buying out 'The Body Shop' - I hate you!
The Body Shop - for selling out to L'Oreal - I hate you!
Chiquita - for your underhand, dodgy commercial tactics - I hate you!
Nike - for your child labour and low pay concept - I hate you!
Coca-Cola/Schweppes/Cadburys - for capitalism on a scary scale - I hate you!
Shell Oil - for thinking that Nigerian workers' lives were less important than profit - I hate you!

I thank you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Am I boring you yet?

For those of you who weren't bored shitless with the 41 things about me, I found one that doubled it and of course felt the need to do that one too!

If you want to save yourself some mind numbing boredom, then turn away now!

1. How many keys are on your keychain?
I have 5 keys on my 'key ring'

2. What curse word do you use the most?
Bollocks, fuck or pants (I think it's pants actually!).

3. Do you own an iPod?
Nope, I have a Creative mp3 player and I love the little mite!

4. Who on your Myspace "Top 8" do you talk to most?
All that Myspace ever did for me was gain me a stalker and lots of dying people desperate to give me money if I helped them launder a little. The only reason I am still on is because I haven't been arsed cancelling it (note of things to do later... ).

5. What time is your alarm clock set for?
That really depends because somedays I have big projects, some days I have teaching and some days I have lie-ins.

6. How many suitcases do you own?
Two I think but I mainly have sports bags and rucksacks cos I love em! My step-father wants to know when I am going to grow up and travel like adults do.

7. Do you wear flip-flops even when it's cold outside?
I wear sandals outside (as sponsored by Jesus) and think they are tops. They smell a bit though!

8. Where do you buy your groceries from?
Willy's (cos like the budgie it's cheep!).

9. Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?
Both as I love pulling silaly faces but I love standing there for two hours checking, light, aperture and all that stuff too!

10. What was the last movie you watched?
The Brothers Grimm

11. Do any of your friends have children?

12. If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would buy?
A recording studio with Chuckle Monkey Records over the door. Then I'd sign my first band to my label: Spongy Lung or Rubber Village or Stern Ambulance!

13. Has anyone ever called you lazy?
Yeah and it really pissed me off.

14. Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep faster?
I try and avoid medication whenever I can.

15. What CD is currently in your CD player?
Pink Floyd: Wish you Were Here (I’ve been ordered to play it everyday before the birth!)

16. Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?
Neither (yuck!)

17. Has anyone told you a secret this week?

18. When was the last time someone hit on you?
Mmm... around six years ago I think... ha ha!

19. What did you have for dinner?
Yesterday I had potato gratin with feta and olive salad and bread.

20. Do you wear hoodies often?
I don't know what this is, unless it means jackets with hoods on and then not if I can help it.

21. Can you whistle?

22. Have you ever participated in a protest?
Yes, the communism party's 'U.S.A. - out of Iraq' protest in 2004

23. Who was the last person to call you?
An unknown number that is winding the wife up as they don't leave a message...

24. What is your favorite ride at an amusement park?
I don't like amusement parks, they don't amuse me.

25. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
Er, that goes without saying... right for spite and left for love

26. What area code are you in right now?

27. Did you watch cartoons as a child?
Lots, apparently I was addicted to Snoopy!

28. How big is your local mall?
In square metres?

29. How many siblings do you have?

30. Are you shy around the opposite sex?
Nah, I was but then I got married so I am off limits! ;-)

31. What is your biggest regret?
None as to change things in the past means you would not be where you are now and I like where I am now!

32. Have you ever had Jamba Juice?
This must be a US thing as I have never even heard of it!

33. When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt?
I can't remember; I am much more of a chuckler

34. What movie do you know every line to?
Star Wars of course!

35. Do you own any band t-shirts?
No, not any more.

36. When was your last plane ride?
February, for my little sis's wedding... :-)

37. How many chairs are at your dining room table?
7 (we like to entertain!)

38. What is your favorite salad dressing?

39. Do you read for fun?
I think so, although I tend to research a lot with fiction and so never count it as a pure hobby.

40. Can you speak any languages other than English?

41. Do you do your own dishes?
Yes, most of the time since the woman got with child (it was around 60/40 before that).

42. What color is your bedroom painted?
A nice green.

43. Have you ever cried in public?

44. Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
Both although I could easily take a hammer to the desktop.

45. Which do you make: wishes or plans?
Both, I have a wish list for pressies but I plan my successful writing career! ;-)

46. Are you always trying to learn new things?
Right now I'm going through teach yourself html code and the guitar (I think the answer is yes)!

47. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?
No, Etina killed the nipple piercing idea a long time ago.

48. Do you believe that the guy should pay on the first date?
It's up to those involved.

49. Can you skip rocks?
I can skim them but does this mean that in weird 'US' language or does it mean jumping over them?

50. Have you ever been to Jamaica?

51. If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be?
Me; it's fun!

52. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
6 or 7 I think.

53. Do you love your job?
I have always loved it!

54. Has someone you loved died in the last year?
My mum died just over two months ago. :-(

55. What to snack on at the movie theatres?
Is that a grammatically acceptable question? No, so I refuse to answer it... ha ha!

56. Who was your favorite teacher?
I don't know, I had loads of crap ones to be honest... me I think.

57. Have you ever dated someone out of your race?
All my partners have been members of the human race (I know, I know, I am boring that way)!

58. What is the weather like?

59. Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?
I don't know; it would depend on the person.

60. Do you have an online journal?
No. Oh sorry I must have mustn't I? I have my lovely Live Journal and a pain in the arse Blogger.

61. What was your favorite class in high school?
English Literature.

62. Does your closest Starbucks have a drive-thru?
We don't have any around here *dances happily*

63. Do you eat breakfast daily?
Oh yes, the only meal I eat without fail!

64. What was the last thing to scare you?
Having to sit in the hospital, wondering if baby’s increased heart beat was a problem or not.

65. What is your favorite fruit?
Ooh a tough one, I think oranges at the moment. Wait a minute I’m a monkey… bananas of course…yes bananas!

66. Do you pay attention to calories on the back of packages?
No, I’m more bothered about those scary ‘E’ numbers!

67. Are you picky about spelling and grammar?
Ha ha, check out question 55 for my answer!

68. What was the last thing you ate?
Bulgar wheat salad with tahini – yummo!

69. Do you get along better with the same or opposite sex?
The opposite, I have always had more female friends than male.

70. What did you dress up as for your first Halloween?
Oh my god I have no idea; probably a ghost in a sheet.

71. Do you like mustard?
Some mustard is good and some is bloody awful.

72. Would you ever sky dive?
I’d have to be forced I think

73 Do you sleep on your side, tummy, or back?
Tummy… awww! I sleep on my side.

74. What character from a movie most reminds you of yourself?
John Cusack in High Fidelity (as mentioned by about 92% of the people I’ve met).

75. Do you enjoy giving hugs?
Love it (but only if I like them).

76. Would you consider yourself to be fashionable?
Oh dear, not one bit!

77. Do you own a digital camera?
Sort of, I bought one for the wife and what’s hers is mine, right?

78. What celebrities have you been compared to?
Cusack as in High Fidelity but looks-wise no one really.

79. Does it annoy you when someone says they'll call but never do?
Depends who it is and for what reason.

80. Are you a jealous person?
As a Scorpion I’m supposed to be but I don’t really consider myself jealous and no one has ever said I am.

81. Do you ever feel guilty after eating meat?
I used to and that’s why I became a veggie.

82. If you were born the opposite sex, what would your name have been?

Kathryn. That’s my little sister’s name.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wow what a day!

So many things all at once - I can't contain myself!

Today is the confirmation that my child is to be an Aries... yes!! I don't know why this was such a big thing but I like the idea of baby being the first Aries in the close family. We have a couple of Pisces, which was the other chance, but no Aries... *smiles*

I'm being published again! I got a lovely e-mail yesterday with the news that my story has been accepted for the 'Grants Pass' anthology. I'll keep you posted on that! *grins*

I'm buying my first ever guitar today... wahey! It's something I've been thinking about for a while as I have always wanted to play a musical instrument and I thought I could practice when I put baby to bed. I'm buying it in a few hours and then I'll strum a little bit for the wee one later today! *face lights up*

I'll post a picture of me and said guitar later!

For those who pass by from their blogger account, I now have a blogger account too so you can read all my Live Journal entries there too - multi-tasking I am!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Go for it baby!

After speaking to several users about rocking babies, I decided that my unborn wasn't listening to enough of my earlier music and decided to go on a little nostalgic trip.

Saturday saw us playing Kashmir by the mighty Zeppelin, after [info]dynamine mentioned her gorgeous young'un likes Joy Division and Led Zeppelin.

Baby didn't react too much but then me and Etina got upset after I told her that Led Zeppelin was one of my mum's favourite bands (Mum's funeral was two months ago today - you can read more on the 'Mum' links).

Today was a little of Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins and Jimi Hendrix (with the obligatory Voodoo Chile, as that was number one when I was born!) before then remembering a program talking about unborn babies reacting to bass in the womb. I thought, I pondered and then threw the track on that had baby bopping like a trooper and daddy smiling like an idiot!

'What was it?' I hear you cry, well no other than:

Blue Monday by the mighty New Order!

Go baby go! :-)