Monday, 12 January 2009

My aunt has cancer

I found out earlier on today (well, rapidly heading toward "yesterday" now, but...). I haven't spoken to her yet, and apparently she doesn't want me to know (I found out through my mum - she's her sister).

I don't really know what to think beyond "it's bad". I don't know how serious it is, beyond the fact that it hasn't spread yet, so I don't know the survival/longevity odds. After finding out in a phone call, I wandered for a while. Bought a DVD and a book I didn't need. Then I got sick of the same thoughts running through my head over and over with no actual answers, bought two newspapers, went to Pizza Hut, and spent two and a half hours eating and examining the papers in minute detail. Then I spent an hour walking home and trying to keep my head clear because... well... I still don't know what to think beyond "it's bad."

I'll probably see her tomorrow - whether she wants me to know or not, I can't just ignore it. I hope, by that point I'll have some idea of what to think. But I doubt it.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Everything seems to be irritating me recently. Real-life stuff which I'm not going into, but also online stuff. I can't upgrade from Firefox 2 to FF3 because several of the UI "improvements" annoy the hell out of me (plus, it would finally force me to change from AdBlock to AdBlock Plus, and there are loads of things about the latter that, yes, annoy me). Newsarama's revamp drove me so nuts I've practically stopped visiting the site (CBR's revamp shortly before, oddly, barely registered). IDW's new Transformers revamp (All Hail Megatron) is incredibly crap - but not only did that lead to a rant on their MB, I then flamed their EiC... over the 2004 Legion rereboot, after he called it "the best LSH in years". The one that had me spitting for months back then, and is still a sore spot (see also below, in the "Comics Ennui" post - no, Legion of Three Worlds isn't a good thing, since it's just going to end with (most of, at the very least) them getting killed off (again), since Geoff Johns is writing it, and using his pet killing-characters-he-doesn't-like tool. Yes, this annoys me.)

Combined with the-RL-stuff-I'm-not-going-to-describe, the effect of all of this and more is to leave me in a permanent state of... crankyness, at best. I can't relax, I can't enjoy stuff I know I *should* be enjoying (right now, DVDs of A Bit of Fry & Laurie. Although even S4 of Who was, as a whole, better than S3 at any rate). Getting a new cat (Rocket), helped for a couple of days, but right now, I just want to scream, hit something solid, or both.

And that's annoying.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Stuff I've liked recently


Cable & Deadpool #49-50. After a lacklustre post-Cable run of issues, Reilly Brown's plots gave the book a sprint finish. Even Nicieza's dialogue got funnier again to go with them. [Incidentally, Cable #1 was horribly underwhelming. I'm not even going to bother looking at Daniel Way's Deadpool]

Incredible Herc. Just read it. Read through the entire near-1100-strip archive in three days. Like the above two, fun.


Masterchef. I'm not sure why I like it, but I do. Either the editor was horrendously biased, or the right man won too. Hopefully the latter.

Deep Space Nine S5. I got out the habit of watching this on Virgin 1 a while back for a few reasons, none of them content-related (was out late for a few nights in a row, then had a series of early mornings to make sure my sleep pattern was thoroughly wrecked, combined with Virgin 1 being in MuxD, of which my reception is marginal and requires much aerial fiddling to stop the picture breaking up constantly. Every time.) Turns out that was definitely a mistake.


Charlie Brooker's Dawn of the Dumb. A collection of his newspaper colums. His columns on "psychics" alone are worth the cost of the book.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Ten Days of Cable & Deadpool

At the Deadpool blog I contribute to - - I've decided to run through ten moments from the series that stuck in my mind in the ten days leading up to the last issue. The first one's here, and they will all be tagged "Ten Days of Cable & Deadpool".

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Comics Ennui

I can't be the only one feeling this - a sense of "well, what's the point" about comics. The range of current titles I'm actually interested in shrinks ever more - DC's been dead to me since the Legion rereboot and all the palaver they were doing in their core universe at the time with Green Lantern, Infinite Crisis, et al, and while Marvel's never quite reached the same stage of "I can't be bothered with this any more", they're achieving the same sort of thing through salami-slicing - OMD/BND being the latest straw to snap completely (unlike a lot of people, when I said "I won't be buying any more Spider-titles", I meant exactly that. I'm stubborn that way, which is why I haven't even looked at the Legion rereboot three years later - I knew when I said it that "I won't read or buy any new Legion comics until they reverse this" almost certainly meant in practice "I'll never read or buy any new Legion comics ever again". So?), and the X-titles are straining even if they're not quite at that point yet. Even the miniseries, like Agents of Atlas, Livewires and Scorpion: Poison Tomorrow (the last technically not a mini, but...), which gave something comics-related to look forward to even if they were guaranteed to sell like crap are drying up.

Sure, there's the odd Nova even now, but right now I'm "properly" following about six titles - Nova (mid-table ongoing), Annihilation Conquest (mini), Incredible Herc (ongoing I expect to be free-falling pretty soon), Cable/Deadpool (cancelled), New Warriors (sinking), X-Men First Class (low-selling). I may or may not go back to X-Factor post-Messiah Complex, and the books I'm "casually" following - Thor, Cap, Marvel Adventures Avengers, Terror, Inc, IDW Transformers - I'm more likely to go to "not following" than "properly following".

I feel like I haven't moved away from comics, they've moved away from me...

[PS: If anyone was reading this, I'm sure they'd be thinking "what about 'independent' comics? Fact is, I read comics for superheroes - I watch TV, read books, etc for other mediums.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

So that was 2007? Well, it can sod off for all I care.

Personally, my abiding memory of 2007 is and will always be spending seven months in agony, punctuated by various doctor and hospital trips in-between a "how the hell did THAT happen" thing caused by sitting down wrong in the first week of February, and getting sliced open under general anaesthetic in September. Followed by very nearly fainting when I tried to walk out the hospital because of the pain, turning Day Surgery into an overnight stay. Followed by a month or so in even greater agony from the surgical wounds, of course.

As for TV, I watched slightly more than in 2006, due almost entirely to my discovery (no pun intended) of MythBusters and the DVDs of [New] Battlestar Galatica, which between them formed pretty much my entire US TV watching of the year. And, after blazing through S1 in a week (and the miniseries before that in two nights) BSG tailed off so much that I still haven't made it past the S2 episode where the President magically gets her cancer cured. For "home-grown" (i.e., UK) TV, Doctor Who got steadily worse for me (except for the Blink/Utopia double bill. After which it dropped off a cliff for the last two episodes), even though the ratings suggest I'm in a minority there. With Catherine Tate coming on for the whole of S4, I'm wondering if I'll keep watching. (It's stablemate Robin Hood is now in a similar situation for me for entirely different reasons - I enjoyed Hood S2 a LOT more than Who S4, but with THAT ending, re: my last post...). Other than that, and generics like the news, I watched mostly BBC2 light entertainment shows (led by Top Gear and Oz & James) & BBC4. Which scares me, come to think of it.

As for the news, it depressed me too much to write about.

Comics, were 99.8% (not literal figure) Marvel for me this year as DC goes further and further away from what I want to see [Even if Marvel made a last minute stab at outdoing them with OMD...]. Picks: Nova, the tail-end of Annihilation (even if the power signature cheat still bugs me...), the surprise of New Warriors being half-decent - technically, I think I shouldn't like it, and the fill-in art on #7 was horrible, yet it's got Something that I can't put my finger on, but makes me like it... - Terror, Inc, Iron Man: Hypervelocity, Irredeemable Ant-Man, Planet Hulk (but not WWH) and the Jeff Parker double-bill of X-Men: First Class and Marvel Adventures: Avengers (until #17 only, in the case of the latter). Pity about Cable/Deadpool, but losing Cable appeared to have knocked the wheels off it almost completely as it skid towards cancellation for reasons entirely unrelated to the title itself.

Hoping for a less painful 2008...

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Robin Hood 2x12&13: A Good Day to Die

I don't get it. Really.

The episodes, linked as one (the title for the second part was apparently "We Are Robin Hood", but it's wasn't seen on-screen, and the first half title suits both bits better anyway) were decent. Even if Djaq's ritual was a slightly contrived way of doing it, ep 12 got out stuff that needed to be said. Marian was headstrong verging on stupid in trying to kill the Sheriff, but that's been par for the course for her (and her reasoning didn't hold up - even if she had been right, it would merely have been a delay. The guy with the stampbook only came once a fortnight anyway). And, ep 13, sure, Richard should probably have trusted Robin, but frankly it's fair enough that he didn't take the risk.

But it's the ending that I really don't get...

Okay, there's that headstrong streak again - and didn't Richard have a sword she could have grabbed when running over rather than just standing between him & Guy? Especially when she FINALLY let Gisborne have it verbally, standing in front of the guy (no pun intended) who stabbed and nearly killed her once before. But she did, and he killed her.

And I don't get why they did it.

That's my overwhelming feeling after seeing that ending. I really, REALLY don't get the idea behind killing off Marian. It's mortgaging S3 (which I can't see going in any direction except VERY, VERY dark now) against five minutes at the end of S2. And, even if the actress who played her quit, which I haven't heard (and if they reintroduce her as Marian's cousin or something, I can't see myself keep watching...), they should have recast rather than killing her off.

Maybe if they weren't going to get S3 and knew it, but since we KNOW they have a third series, and they knew it well, well before this episode was written.... I'm in shock. I. Just. Don't. Get. It.