World of Bile

Thoughts, pics and links from me to you.. Read on...

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Location: London, United Kingdom

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoy writing it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Its official, Mark...

My values equate to those of a conservative Talk Radio presenter from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Should I be worried? This guy's mix of commentary, libertarianism and wrestling metaphor seem perfect sense in my mind

Might not be your kind of thing as it's mucho politico at times, but please check him out..


Till Next Time,
Alex

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Molesey Heath, Saturday 21st February

Hi Mark,

Some pictures up on Molesey Heath and the reservoir nearby. Warm, mild and not a cloud in the sky... fills me full of optimism for the months to come.




Island Barn Reservoir

More to come,

Alex

Monday, February 16, 2009

My latest TV vice

Hi Mark,

Sorry bout the delay in posting. Been a bit busy, as you probably have too..

Valentines was wonderful, first time Ive indulged the occasion in many years so a real pleasure.

We lounged around in a quiet, Xander free house all of Saturday - curled up in a duvet with lots of indulgences around. It made me think: when was the last time I had the opportunity to lounge around and fall asleep on the couch with no repercussions whatsoever?? It just doesn't happen, I havent stopped over the last year, so this break has been bliss..

I wanted to share my latest discovery. Checked out Boogie Nights, which Im sure you'll agree is a superb film (review to come eventually I hope) but the real highlight was a TV series called 'How I Met Your Mother'. Id never heard of it - apparently it disappeared into a black hole in BBC2's schedule a couple of years back, never to return.

It's great! Imagine 'Coupling' (remember Coupling?) with a sophisticated, witty Frasier-y kind of air. Exactly the same sort of format, a young couple, their male friend, their female friend (who of course hook up and then come apart at a later point) and also their sexist bachelor buddy. The premise? A middle aged guy two decades into the future recounts to his children how he met their mother. Each episode is a flashback detailing his experiences looking for 'The One': and invariably failing to find her. The stars are all winsome Friends clones as one would expect. Alyson Hannigan (Willow out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) features in her first grown up role but Neil Patrick Harris (yes, that Neil Patrick Harris) is a standout as boorish, sexist Barney Stinson. The imdb page is full of zingy one liners which has raised his role as an actor greatly in the last couple of years.

If you've never heard of it. Check it out: youtube has plenty of little snippets to amuse and bemuse.

Check out my latest guilty pleasure..

Alex

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Singin' In The Rain (Ciao Review)

Hi Mark,
Been ciaoing again. Good to flex the writing muscles once in a while, keeps them sharp. Here is my review of Singin' In The Rain, enjoy..
Singin' In the Rain (1952)103 MinutesDir: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly.Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen
I should've subtitled this 'I don't like musicals, but'As a rule, I'd give most films where the lead bursts into song a wide berth. For me, a film is credible (and therefore enjoyable) if you can believe in what is unfolding on the screen. How can you suspend belief if the actors suddenly start singing Cole Porter tunes for no apparent reason every 10 minutes? For instance my girlfriend cajoled me to watching 'Rent'. Don't get me wrong: it's worthy, serious stuff, but I had to turn it off after five minutes.
Personally, I am no musicals
expert. Wouldn't be able to be analyse one on technical details alone. However, if a musical entertains me (like Mamma Mia did), it gets my seal of approval and I'd watch it repeatedly.'Singin' In The Rain' certainly fits the bill. Even a philistine like me can enjoy the song and dance scenes, the movie is bright and fun, even the some of the comedy moments can still raise a chuckle. This was one of director Stanley Donen's earlier movies (he was only in his late 20s - an indicator of his talent) and was followed by a number of further colourful, frothy comedies into the 1960s like 'The Grass is Greener' and 'Charade'. Gene Kelly is in his prime here: a man who came direct from Broadway in the early 1940s, choreographing numerous movie dance routines (and dancing them too) for the next 20 years. He remained a dance consultant for numerous shows and music tours into his 80s, including Madonna's 'Girly Show' tour in 1993. He can dance (obviously), he can sing and he can act, a triple threat in my mind that no actor before or since has been able to match.
The STORY (in abridged form):Kelly plays silent film star 'Don Lockwood', who along with Lina Lamont (played by Jean Hagen) are the movie lovebirds who hold the public in their thrall. The film opens with them arriving to their latest movie premiere 'The
Royal Rascal', screaming crowds and flashing camera bulbs all around. We are introduced to the two stars and quickly find out their public show of affection is a sham. In fact Don is closer to his childhood old friend Cosmo (Donald O'Connor): the two paid their dues at dance halls throughout the country together before hitting it big. The premier is a big success, but during the after party Monumental Pictures studio boss R.F (Millard Mitchell) surprises party goers with the latest entertainment development: a movie..with sound!! The bigwigs don't believe likes of the 'Jazz Singer' will catch on: and of course it does, so Monumental have to cash in by re-releasing 'the Royal Rascal'. This is where the problems start: in the late 1920s some of the biggest silent movie stars didn't survive the transfer to the talkies: some had thick European accents or just didn't sound pleasing enough. Lina Lamont is one, she has a New York accent so whiny that the studio goes to great lengths to ensure she is not heard in public. Techical problems aside therefore (and these raise a few chortles) Monumental have a major problem: how do they make Lamont sound desirable when her voice is like an air raid siren? The solution to the studio's problems is Kathy Selden, a pretty young dancer who Don soon falls in love with. During a late night session where our heroes bemoan the demise of 'The Royal Rascal', Cosmo comes up with an idea. Why not have Lina lip synch to Kathy's delivery of the dialogue and musical numbers? This goes off without a hitch, the audiences love Lina's new voice. Trouble is so does Lina, and she is prepared to take drastic measures to ensure she doesn't have to give it up. So how does Kathy escape Lina's clutches and get her big break??The songs are bright and upbeat, and the joy really shines out of the performances. Add to the sheer polish of performances of Kelly and O'Connor who grab the viewers attention with their screen presence. O?Connor?s solo moment ('Make 'em Laugh') showcases his acrobatic skills, every single pratfall and somersault is so smoothly performed it keeps the viewers attention throughout. Of course it is Kelly who is the star performer: he can hold a tune ('Broadway Melody') but it is his dance routines that look absolutely effortless. 'Singin' in The Rain' is a happy splash through the puddles of a man in love, all completed with Kelly's incredible flawless smile.. I couldn't take my eyes of it! How is it possible to have teeth the same colour as the white jacket/hat combo Don wears at the start of the film? He looks like he's having a fine time throughout, and this in one of the reasons I enjoy this film so much, the whole cast seem to be loving every moment of it.
To recap: I don't like musicals, but.. I love 'Singin' in The Rain'. It is wondrously vibrant and the songs are incredibly catchy (I currently have 'Moses Supposes' running through my mind and am resisting the temptation to burst into song). The comedic moments still raise a chuckle over half a century on: I'd challenge anyone to watch the talkie screening scene of 'The Royal Rascal' and the problems encountered without cracking a smile. Being a musical novice, I normally cant suspend my belief when a musical character embarks onto a number. But when the cast seem to be committing themselves so wholeheartedly, you kind of expect it..

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ow,ow, ow

Hi Mark,

Had a killer powerplate session last night.

Sent my work colleague off at about 8.20, stayed till 9pm. Strode out of the gym feeling about 10 feet tall, my mind fantasising about large steaming piles of meat for dinner - it gives you a righteous appetite.

Woke up this morning feeling incredibly stiff, it still amazes me how much a session of standing around on a vibrating platform can take it out of one.. maybe you should try it some day..

Valentines Day approaches soon, and of course I have preparations in place for it [just in case someone I know might be reading this, you know who you are!]. In the office we're gonna have some postboxes so people can send the subject of their affections some (mostly anonymous) tribute. Mostly its just for laughs - I've been throwing around some prose to submit to my mate Dan: a guy who revels in the virtues of 'sleaze' [a LONG story]. It goes something like this..

Roses are Red,
they sway in the breeze.
I can't get enough of
All of your sleaze...
Will make him chortle anyway..

Plan to meet up with my buddy Shash next month. I used to hang out with him back in uni, how many years ago was it? 12??!! Facts like that really shock me. We're all grown ups now, some living with their partners, some married, some with children. Its interesting, the friends who I didnt think would settle down, have now got mortgages, and sired families to go with them. Just shows how much I know doesn't it?

I've changed too. Am now planning to visit Shash next month down his way, bring my 'family' (cannot believe Im even entertaining that thought) to meet his family. Hook up X with Shash's daughter perhaps??

Twee notions like that would not have registered in my mind a year ago.. I can tell you..

Monday, February 02, 2009

Behold..

Hi Mark,

There is something about a snow snow shower that brings out the inner child..

In the last 24 hours we've had more come out of the sky than in any point for 18 years. A thick, even, powdery cover which you cannot help cavorting in. Our garden had a wonderful untouched layer of snow which was calling out to be exploited.

So, me and two of my housemates decided to create our own snowman. First time I must've done the deed for a decade and a half. Behold our snowwoman whom my housemate JC christened 'The Beast'.

It isnt the jolly snowman of Raymond Briggs fame, is it? Probably'll be visiting me in my dreams as it looks pretty gruesome. And yes, we did use a can of 'Mr Muscle Oven Cleaner' as a nose, you aren't mistaken.

Alex