Friday, October 24, 2008

You know, I was never a big fan of The X-Files. Largely because the acting was (well, is) pretty awful: the only really good episodes were the jokey ones that sort of went with that. Even Duchovy is under no illusions about his talent. And I can go with that.

But for a good four or five seasons, the character of Dana Scully was one of the stupidest characters in TV (up there with Lois Lane). And Gillian Anderson's performance was about 180 degrees where it should have been, which called more attention to that fact than was strictly necessary:

Dalek Th... Scully: No, Mulder. You are wrong. Even though you have been correct in every mystery every week now for four years now, the Yeti/teh Saucer Pplz/intelligent viruses cannot exist.

I mean, old school Doctor Who girls never believed, either, but then no one mistook them for the brains of the operation. (Except poor Liz Shaw, who got booted out after 25 episodes...)

So imagine my joy in finding Anderson in a bitchy little article for MSN:

It's possible that Anderson doesn't have any dramatic ability. However, it's more likely that she tried for nonchalance, but overshot and achieved nonliving... She and David Duchovny went together like peanut butter and cheese (or is that macaroni and jelly?).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Au plaisir d'un gentlhomme

Sounds like a Bond title, doesn't it?

But I'm thinking "Property of a Lady", one of the sources for the film Octopussy.

Anyway, I've be positioned into... No.

Set up to... Grrr.

Put up to... Jeez, isn't there any way into this that isn't vaguely slutty sounding? Apparently not.

So, I've been asked to either a) put up a Sinister post here that I wrote not long ago so a non-Sinisterine can read it or b) relate a story of how I was compared to a certain race of little, blue cartoon... I'm not sure what a Smurf is really, but whatever it is a Smurf is, and how the name stuck.

I'm choosing a), since as sole prop. of this site, I have forbidden all reference to me/Smurf comparison.

"My First Time"!

Sounds racy, doesn't it? Of course, unlike other Sinisterines (looks in askance
at Ken Chu and pines -- pines! -- at the memory of Markelby) I'm
not actually tarty. I just like to pretend I am, sometimes. And I've no idea
why, but in my head just now, I sounded just like Tevye the Milkman
saying that. Anyway.

I want a go at telling my "First time I heard Belle and Sebastian" story!

It's a bit of a long story, so you'll have to indulge me. And it's long
because it's part of a much longer story about a boy (one of /those/ kinds
of boys) and I have to tell at least a little of it for the B&S story to
make much sense.

The boy's name was Daniel. I met him my first year of college, back in the
mid 90s. When I think of him now, I think of him all in corduroys and
Argyle sweaters, but I think most of that is sort of layered on, memories
filtered back through TV and movies. Or maybe this time of year just lends
itself to thinking of people in browns and greys.

He was a year older than me, and I since I was still so fresh out of high
school, I still thought that was a very big deal: in addition to being
very pretty -- all dark curls over bright green eyes and snowy skin -- he
was that much more older and sophisticated. Or so I thought.

I'll spare you all the tedious details of how I actually met him (shoved into
him by the proprietress of a charity shop on Franklin Street that liked to
bill itself as a "vintage" store) and how we got to know one another, and
skip to the part where he decided to go to a Study Abroad semester in London
the next Spring. He was away all that semester, and when it ended he
decided to stay in London through the summer, too, loafing, in my
opinion, in a sort of louche hipster grandeur.

I, on the other hand, spent the summer dressed as an Elizabethan soldier
for tourists at the seaside and tried not to pass out from heat exhaustion

We met up again, of course, that Fall. We were lying together on my twin
n bed in my dorm room, comparing stories about our summers and listening
to the musical treasures he had brought back with him. We were talking about
t something trivial when he remembered something. "Oh man," he said,
"You have to listen to this. You'll love it."

He dug around in his bag and fished out another cassette. It was a copy of
a record he'd heard. He took out the tape we were listening to and put another
one in the little boombox we were listening to, and then cued up the
song he wanted to play. It started, and he looked at me, his eyes shining
with expectation. (Or was it Expectations?)

I listened.

I thought it was crap. I said so. He sort of visibly sank and looked
disappointed. "I'm no big fan of techno," I said. "but that isn't even very
/good/ techno."

To this day, I have no idea why, out of all the songs on Tigermilk, he
picked "Electronic Renaissance", or why he didn't give me some prep for
it, like "Wait, listen to the lyrics!" or "The next song is better!"

I felt really awful, because he had been so excited to share this. I mean,
I know: I've felt exactly that sort of evangelistic glee, too, before
and since, and for the exact same music. But I didn't get it that night.
Not at all. And I really liked him, too, but I was too dumb then to
even try to give it another listen, just for him.

In the end it was all right. He had brought back a ton of music, and we
listened to most of it that night. We ordered awful pizza and stayed up late,
annoying my roommate, laughing and trying to correct the faults in each
ch other's musical tastes, till we found other ways to occupy ourselves.

And clearly I managed to hear some other Belle and Sebastian not much later
and liked it. A lot. But that's another story.

So there you go. I'd've done this for no other reason than ce certain gentilhomme inspired me to break out my old Go-Betweens albums. I had almost forgotten "Love Goes On!" is one of my favourite songs. (Am... Em... Bm... C... G... Em... D... C...)

If all goes to the good, I may not post again this week.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You know, nothing will make you think twice about stupid, off-the cuff tweets like the sentence:

"Stephen Fry is now following you on Twitter!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I did something quite sad this evening. It's finally gotten cold in these parts -- well, cool. For a long time, it's always been my tradition to mull some wine the first really cold night of the year.

I started doing it in college. I remember the first year I did it, I was in a dorm -- Stacy Hall -- doing it for a load of friends crammed into my room. We had chased The Idiot Steve out by telling him we were having an orgy. It almost backfired because he apparently fancied one of the girls, but then Daniel smiled and put his hand on The Idiot Steve's shoulder and he was off. I was greatly complimented when my English(/Greekish/Frenchish) friend Lucie said it was 'just like Fireworks Night!"

I think that may have been one of the nights we went chasing after the Gimghouls. If it was, then it would have been the midnight on 31 October, so a few days later than now.

After I graduated, I remember doing it a couple of times with my friends Christina and Jamie, at Christina's little duplex. And at least one of those was a party (very possibly her birthday party) with at least a dozen DJs from 'XDU jockeying to spin.

It was always a trip in New York, too. It was one of the first things people I started with did en masse. There was -- is -- a liquor store just across the street from Hunter, so w, dropped in and bought several bottle of cheap red, then went back to somebody's Manhattan place. There were five or six of us crammed on somebody's fire escape, smoking and drinking and actually talking for the first time.

Well, anyway, I did alone by myself tonight for the first time. I couldn't go out and get any, but there was a bottle of something alarmingly labelled "Indiana Grape Wine". I used it without trying any. I added the spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and a dusting of allspice) and the rest (lemon juice, a touch of vanilla, and more sugar than is seemly) and heated it accordingly.

It was just as bad as something labelled "Grape" Wine should be. For tradition's sake, I forced a few gulps down my throat, but it was so bad I wound up pouring most of it out. I poured it down the sink lest it kill the grass in the yard.

I think I'm glad of that, actually. Had it been good enough to drink, I'd have drunk all of it and gotten pointlessly maudlin. As it is, I can (just) manage to sort of cheerfully reminisce without falling prey to nostalgia. Although if I brood, I may just fall prey anyway. So I'll stop.