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March 17, 2009

St. Patty's What? Oh, Crap, Not Again...

Well, it happened again. St. Patrick's Day sneaked up on me and I missed out on joining the celebrations.

It's frustrating for two reasons. The first, and probably least important of the two, is the fact that I've got a little Irish in me; my Mum's Dad (who died before I was born) was a Maloney (I have to ask Trish about him sometime). The second is that I don't go to enough parties, and St. Patty's Day always seems like a great opportunity to go sink a few pints with a bunch of folk I've never met before.

This morning, when one of the managers comes in wishing everyone a happy St. Patrick's Day (slightly ironic given that she's a Scot) I performed the now-obligatory head-palm and insisted to myself that this year, I'm going to do something. At first I figured I'd get a schooner of green beer at lunch, but after eating in the company kitchen and wandering outside (my lunch hour is earlier than most others' due to ensuring phone coverage) I suddenly didn't feel in the mood to do anything in particular. So I put it off until after work, but P.J. O'Brien's, the local Irish theme bar, was already packed, and given that I was toting my shoulder-bag and lunch-sack I figured I'd wind up the sad-arse off in the corner drinking a pint on his own. No thank you.

I continued on to the car park, where I (finally) had the bright idea of calling a couple of people whom I was pretty sure would be in the area and seeing whether they wanted to come out for a pint. Unfortunately, neither of them answered their phones (not allocating blame or anything here; lack of planning on my part is my fault alone), so I hopped in the car and headed home instead.

Next year, though. Next year, it won't just be a pint of green beer; no, it'll be a beef and Guiness pie with an extra pint to wash it down with and some mates with whom bull can be shot!

March 14, 2009

They'll Have To Drag Me Out Of The Cinema

A visit to the Apple Movie Trailers site today drove me to check the Coming Soon page of Birch Carroll & Coyle, one of our local movie distributors. Now how're these for some huge months?

  • April
    • 29th: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • May
    • 7th: Star Trek
    • 14th: Angels & Demons
    • 21st: Night At The Museum 2
  • June
    • 4th: Terminator Salvation
    • 25th: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  • July
    • 16th: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

What? No, I wasn't planning to - well, I suppose it's got Dennis Quaid and Christopher Eccleston in it. All right then:

  • August
    • 6th: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Who needs an Xbox?

Anyway, tomorrow night, Vickie and I are off to see Gran Torino. The five star meal before the fast food binge, if you will.

March 07, 2009

Notes from the Wilds of the Internet

I just deleted a spam comment out of my queue, the first two words of which were, I kid you not, “blender porn”.

Just goes to show there's something on the Internet for everyone...

Too Humid To Write - Yet Write I Do

In case you don't already know, we have this season's second cyclone in the neighbourhood. Tropical Cyclone Hamish has been lurking north-north-east of us since Thursday, but after heading toward land it's taken a course roughly parallel to the coast. It picked up intensity, becoming a Category 4 this morning, but thankfully passed Cairns by (dumping a load of rain as it did so, though). Unfortunately, it's still out there; the most recent tracking map puts it east of Cardwell and it looks set to ground somewhere around Bundaberg maybe mid-week. The Bureau of Meteorology expects it to intensify to a Category 5 early tomorrow but believe it'll drop back down to a 3 by Monday night.

With rain comes humidity, and for most of the afternoon it's been weather for not doing much. Frustrating, as I made myself a list of things I wanted to get done by Sunday night, but when I checked it this evening I found I'd done half of them; I've done the weekend shop, fixed some loose palings on both the fence and the front verandah and figured out how I'm handling the council rates. That leases me with washing and polishing the car (not to mention cleaning the interior and putting the seat covers back on), writing 2,000 words of a project I've set myself and developing a plan for the reformat and rebuild of my PC. And oddly enough, given the brain-melting humidity, I'm feeling in the mood to write, thus this posting.

On the genral topic of writing, I'd like to hip you to a series of books I've discovered recently; the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn. They slot into the “urban fantasy”genre popularised by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files) and Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter), but (and you can certainly call my next statement odd considering the lead character is a werewolf) they seem a little more grounded than the first two. The lead isn't an investigator or an action hero; she's a regular girl trying to deal with the very nasty hand of cards fate has dealt her. I've read the first two novels, Kitty and the Midnight Hour and Kitty Goes to Washington, and although they're rather short – I read them in a twenty-four hour period each – they make up for the paucity of page count with a lot of quality. The next couple are in my reservation queue, and I'm getting seriously tempted to buy one or two so the author sees a few quid out of me.

Oh, and if you've ever listened to a talk radio program for any longer than three minutes, you'll get a good laugh at some of the callers to Kitty's show, the titular “Midnight Hour” - even the lycanthrope and vampire communities are filled with airheaded twerps. In fact, I think that's the most grounding thing in the whole series!

If any of the above has got your interest, I highly suggest you go and read the start of it all, a short story called “Dr. Kitty Solves All Your Love Problems”.