Friday, 21 November 2008

When Magic Happens

A couple of months ago I'd never heard of Ryan Adams, much less listened to his music. W*P*D, who worships the man as muse and idol, asked if I'd like to join her in seeing him live and I, always encouraging the new and interesting, very happily agreed.

In the meantime, I listened to a few of his songs, made friends with a couple of them and, on one memorable occasion, burst into spontaneous tears at W*P*D's house on hearing "If I Am A Stranger".

So, all in all, I was expecting to enjoy the gig, the company and especially watching W*P*D's face light up in child-like joy. I was not expecting to fall in love.

Without exaggeration, it was the most incredible live performance I have ever seen. Note perfect, completely in tune, his pure voice poured out while The Cardinals produced sounds I had no idea were possible outside of a recording studio. In short, they were sublime. Song after beautiful song without ever a dip in quality - or genius, if I'm honest. And, as W*P*D pointed out, the whole room was completely still, just letting the music wash over them, and everywhere you looked there were people singing their hearts out. The man is honestly loved.

Now, W*P*D has always said that Ryan is her muse, which I understood on an objective level (she will be returning the favour on Saturday by joining me to see my own muse, Eddie Izzard) but not really an emotional one. I accepted it was a very good choice, because his music is wonderful, but I had no personal experience of the impact it can have.

"Do you get it now?" she asked me as we left, eyes sparkling.

Oh yes, I get it.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

A moment of amused

I think I have a contender for Best Paragraph Ever. This hasn't been my favourite week, so I thought to cheer myself by re-reading an old favourite: Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. During which I re-discovered potentially the most amusing piece of prose ever written (in my humble opinion).

To give you a little background, the canine in question is a hellhound that has taken on the appearance of a small, scruffy dog to fulfill the overheard pet requirements of its master, a boy who has yet to discover he is the Antichrist. Its usual form is large, terrifying and bad-tempered.

And then there were cats, thought Dog. He'd surprised the huge ginger cat from next door and had attempted to reduce it to cowering jelly by means of the usual glowing stare and deep-throated growl, which had always worked on the damned in the past. This time they earned him a whack on the nose that made his eyes water. Cats, Dog considered, were clearly a lot tougher than lost souls. He was looking forward to a further cat experiment, which he'd planned would consist of jumping around and yapping excitedly at it. It was a long shot, but it might just work.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Pixel Glory

I'm not sure from whom the challenge originated, but the Second Life blog feeds are currently filled with people's attempts to make a pixel version of their true selves... and this one would be mine.

Now, first things first, I should point out that this is one fecking hard challenge. The sliders just don't go where you want them to go, and when they do one has a tendency to end up looking like a special. My real nose, for example, tilts downwards, but if you copy the proportions in SL you end up looking like you've got your nose stuck up against the window while dribbling and (probably) scratching your arse.

So this is as close as I could get her. The hair isn't bad - severe centre parting (it does it all by itself, that's not a life choice), straggly bits and a touch floofy at the top. The eyes, by our very own lovely Laura, aren't far off either.

The dress, of course, is by Canimal, who is therefore responsible for my decision to purchase both the pixel dress and its real life counterpart. It seemed only fitting.

I'm not convinced she looks an awful lot like me, but frankly any longer playing with the sliders and I'll lose what marbles I have left to me and WillowZ will stab me for repeatedly asking her what she thinks.

So what do you lot think?

EDIT: Edited to capture forever this comment from Shelly on Plurk, which I can't stop giggling at -

Shelly: pretty close pretty close! And the nose doesn't look shortbus yay!

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Cani Invasion: Various Celebrations

I've been faintly remiss with reporting all the yummy fun Cani and I have been having since she arrived, but I do at least have a wealth of photos to show off our weekend of sensible cultural activities.

In amongst the trips to Camden and a Little Big Planet preview thinger we went to see (I cannot tell you how much I want a PS3 now), it was, of course, Halloween.

As England are a bit pants at celebrating Halloween - unless you're a child or sufficiently terrifying that you can go trick or treating and people will be too scared to withhold sweeties - we went to a funfair in Crystal Palace.
Fully attired for the occasion, of course, in our gothic finest. I even dyed my hair in celebration, and then spent some considerable time cleaning up the evidence from the bathroom. All the trips to Camden came in handy though, as I had the perfect dress and thigh-high socks and Cani was a striped and corseted wonder.

Most of us came away from the place with significant injuries (I'm still limping now thanks to an overexcited and badly brought up small child on the dodgems who seemed intent on bashing us into the next county and poor Best Mate was assaulted from all sides and hopped about for days) but it was an effing good laugh nonetheless.

I even cajoled dear Best Mate into providing one of her gorgeous hair extravaganzas to complete my outfit. It fell down thanks to a combination of g-force and head wibbling, but it was so purty while it lasted. The pink trident with picture of unicorn in this picture did not actually belong to Matt, it was a prize Cani won at a sideshow. He seemed to like it though, and who are we to deny the man his pleasures.
I'm pretty sure you're meant to be afraid of Dracula, rather than intrigued by his crotch, but seeing as Anton allowed me to smear eyeliner across his face and didn't complain when I poked him in the eye, we'll focus on the purtiness of Best Mate's dress, shall we?
The Twister: do not approach if you have recently eaten or have a short skirt on. I am assured it was not the case, but remain convinced that the world and his spaniel saw my undercrackers.

We do Bonfire Night in rather more spectacular style over here, of course, and I couldn't let Cani go home without throwing a penny for the guy. Fortunately, Richmond's festivities were a couple of days early, and it wasn't even raining for once.Fireworks to a James Bond soundtrack while surrounded by small squeaking children - and, if you're Cani, wearing black bunny ears that flash red. Devil bunny ears, if you will. It was an unusual experience.
Richmond did me proud though, bless it, and we even spotted the guy being carted off across the pitch, though we were a bit late to see the bugger burn.
And a toffee apple, to make the whole thing complete. You can't have a bonfire night without a toffee apple, it's illegal. Or bunny ears, dems the new rules.