Friday, December 23, 2005

Feeling more upbeat since last time, almost certainly due to some impressive alarm clock denial.

While taking 'being quite busy' to extremes, my literary intake has been hit hard. I tend to sustain myself back home by munching my through a novel a week but as I spend so much of my day attempting to digest copious quantities of abstract information, regurgitating equations, sampling the choice papers of the day and on occasion trying to cook up my own tasty theories, I must satisfy my longings in the evenings simply with a little amuse bouche to quell my appetite for pages. As one of my favourite pastimes is to sink into an engulfing sofa in a cafe with a good book and an endless supply of coffee I'm delighted to feel that I now have a 'local' where I can do just that to a good mix of jazz and electronica...I'm a happy chap (sixtyten - Boards of Canada). I'm crawling my way enjoyably through The Ground Beneath her Feet, getting exponentially closer to the point where Rushdie finishes and my Swedish fails me as my modern palimpsest turns turtle and I lose the plot completely (reference ). I'm getting urges for another Steinbeck soon but I'm not sure that finding one of the less well-known titles will be easy here.

-Me? Obsessed with food and books? Certainly not!

In the mean time, I satisfy my cultural meanderings with ripped off DVDs, something that I genuinely struggle with morally but not enough to deprive myself of good movies. Another Takeshi Kitano film (Brother) a couple of days ago was a welcome addition to the library. Having survived a serious motorcycle accident several years ago, Beat Takeshi (Takeshi Kitano's stage name) has a twitch and series of facial expressions unlike any actor I've ever seen. Again, he plays the silent, disturbed type in a Yakuza film set partly in the States. Violent as always but with enough subplot and emotion to make it another great film. His film Dolls, is still one of my favourite movies of all time and any Samurai film with an all singing all dancing musical number at the end gets my vote every time (Zatoichi).
I was aware that he had a wide range of talents but his info in Wikipedia is pretty astonishing.

I'm also managing to track down some more Wong Kar Wai films and have still to see 2046 which I'm really looking forward to.

Plans for this weekend are now afoot and I, together with another couple of people, am attempting to organise a big night out in the area that I live. Will see if people catch the bait and show up for another great Friday. Christmas plans are less than ethereal and I've no idea what's going to happen on Christmas day. Me thinks a big fat nothing but I'll see if anything magically appears over the weekend. (I want to tell you - The Beatles).

In the mean time I've now written the group's website, people seem happy to have someone taking charge but I think they may leave the 'volunteering themselves to talk' to others! I've also nearly written my first paper since getting here. Hopefully will release at the beginning of January, fingers crossed. I don't think that this will blow anyone away but I think that there are some really fun results, plus lots of good diagrams which I'm always in favour of.

So I promised some pictures from last weekend and here's a great one, courtesy of Yi He, of Carl Cox in the thick of things, surrounded by a thousand muses. There is a picture of me dancing but I shall spare you the horror and me the shame of such a shot.


A minor techie tip: I was finding that Windows Media player when set on shuffle kept playing the same tunes again and again. This is because the randomisation algorithm is very basic. If instead of playing on shuffle you queue up all your music, then go to 'now playing' and click on the 'now playing list' button in the top right and shuffle it from there. It will randomise all your songs in one go and you won't hear the same one twice. This means 15 days solid listening for me now until I hear the same track again. I use media player simply because it's simple to install the audioscrobbler plugin which lets you keep a record on the web of all the tunes you listen to and see what sort of things other people who have similar tastes like: Like this.

Mine is currently pretty skewed as I've only just realised the simple randomisation trick.

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