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01 November 2010 @ 09:18 pm

As I continued to be in a reading mood, I didn't watch any films from my provisional list after all. Instead, while browsing my bookshelves, I picked up this book by Richard Brautigan and discovered the title (The Hawkline Monster: a Gothic Western) was surprisingly apt for this time of year, if not for the Challenge.

But even though this quick read (many short chapters, each starting on a new page) was funny and frequently made me giggle, enough eerily strange things happened in it to make it appropriate after all. This quote from page 46 displays the nice mixture of wacky humour and foreboding:

The road stopped like a dying man's signature on a last-minute will.

It is difficult not to give too much of the plot away, so I'll just quote the back cover:

In the dead centre of the Dead Hills of Eastern Oregon stands Hawkline Manor, an elaborate Victorian mansion, festooned with chandeliers and valuable paintings, and looked after by a giant butler. It is the home of the two Miss Hawklines [Misses Hawkline?], beautiful, generous with their favours — and identical. But it also houses a very unwelcome guest... whom Greer and Cameron, professional killers, are required to dispose of.

I've had a soft spot for Brautigan ever since reading his short story "The Weather in San Francisco", and have read several more of his short stories since. When I came across this novel at the book market a few years ago, I snapped it up immediately. I sort of regretted this impulse buy later on, but now I'm glad I bought it. Brautigan is not to everyone's taste, but I really enjoyed myself.


To wrap up: although I had chosen to do Peril the Third (one book), I have read all four books on my provisional list (abandoning one of them), plus two more.

I have watched none of the films on my list, but I did see several things on TV that qualify:

Belgian TV showed El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth). I would call this a grim fairytale, but boston.com placed it on #17 in their Top 50 scariest movies of all time, so I figure it counts. Good film, beautiful art direction, and what I particularly liked about it was that the faun was such an ambiguous character: I wasn't sure until the end whether his intentions were good or evil. 3/5

Belgian TV has also started broadcasting True Blood, but after seeing the first two episodes I decided I didn't like it enough to continue watching.

Dutch TV is broadcasting Sherlock at the moment. I had missed this when it was shown on the BBC and so was taken by surprise by the massive amount of fangirly squee that suddenly erupted around LJ. Now that I know it consists of only three episodes, I'm even more surprised by the level of fandom it has generated so quickly. Anyway, I have seen two episodes so far and it's good, mysterious fun. 3.5/5

And last night I watched the Psychoville Halloween special, by two members of the League of Gentlemen. I had watched and enjoyed last year's series, so made sure not to miss this. It was deliciously creepy.

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These two little trick-or-treaters showing up on the misanthropist clown's doorstep were the scariest in my opinion. They didn't do or say anything, just stood and stared, and stared, and stared, unnerving not only the clown, but me as well. 4/5, and I was pleased to learn there is going to be a second series.

As always, many thanks to Carl for hosting the R.I.P. Challenge! I had a great time.

Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: The passenger - Iggy Pop
23 September 2010 @ 05:13 pm

Lately I've been trying very hard to get my reading mojo back, and it looks like I've finally succeeded. Not a moment too soon, because it turned out there is an R.I.P. Challenge being held after all. Carl's announcement for R.I.P. V was just a little later than usual.


Not wanting to scare my r.m. away again by being overly ambitious, I've decided to do Peril the Third: reading one book between now and 31 October that fits into one (or more) of the following categories: mystery, suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, gothic, horror, supernatural.

Most of the books on my provisional list appeared on last year's list as well. I picked these because they do not seem too challenging (and also because I hope to be able to free some much-needed shelf space):

Christie, Agatha: They Came to Baghdad — personally I tend to associate Christie's cosy mysteries with comfort reading rather than with nail-biting tension, but IIRC (I read this a looong time ago, in Dutch) this is one of her espionage stories, a genre I find more confusing than anything

Homes, A.M.: The End of Alice — third time lucky?

Krabbé, Tim: De grot (The Cave)

Verhoef, Esther: Erken mij ("acknowledge me") — a short thriller

I like the newly added Peril on the Screen. In previous years I have already unofficially watched films in keeping with the theme, so this year I intend to participate in this Peril as well. My provisional list:

Images (Robert Altman, 1972) — I watched this at least 30 years ago and the only thing I remember about it is Susannah York looking into a mirror and being very, very confused

Memento mori (Tae-Yong Kim & Kyu-Dong Min, 1999) — Korean horror

Tideland (Terry Gilliam, 2007) — one of the blurbs calls this a poetic horror film

Looking forward to starting the challenge. The first month is almost over already, so I'd better get cracking.

Current Mood: recumbentrecumbent
Current Music: Smells like Teen Spirit - Tori Amos
31 October 2009 @ 11:38 pm

Well, I managed to complete the R.I.P. Challenge by the skin of my teeth, or, as the literal and more appropriate translation of the Dutch saying goes, by hanging and strangling.

I have to confess my heart wasn't really in it this time around. To be sure, these past two months my attention has been taken up by ghosts, werewolves and vampires, but they featured in a TV series (Being Human) and a film (Let the Right One In) rather than in books. (Although after seeing the film I have put the book, by John Ajvide Lindqvist, on my reading list.)

Because I still wanted to complete the challenge I picked two of the shortest books on my list.

Book #1, The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski, is about a woman who falls asleep on a chaise-longue and wakes up in 1864, almost a hundred years earlier, in the body of another woman. How to get back to her own time?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIt left me feeling rather blank. When I finished it I had actually no idea whether I liked it or not. I guess I felt slightly disappointed and found the ending a bit unsatisfactory. In my opinion Penelope Farmer handled the same subject matter better and with more logic in her book Charlotte Sometimes. Still, I give it 3/5, because I do want to keep it for now, and maybe reread it at some point.

Book #2, Het heksershol by Joost Hiddes Halbertsma is an odd little folktale about a man who sells his soul to the devil, the adventures he has, the tricks he plays, and his eventual bad end.

Upon Googling I found a review in English, focusing on the folkloristic aspects, here. I also discovered that Halbertsma, who died in 1869, is a rather big name in Friesland, with him and his brother working in the same field as the Grimm brothers in Germany. However, I thought this tale was only mildly amusing at best. 2/5, but I'm keeping it because I do like the cover illustration and frontispiece by Jaap Kuyper, plus the fact that, exactly 44 years and 1 day ago, my mum received this as a birthday present from her brother-in-law's parents. Their note is still in the book.

Current Mood: scaredghostly
Current Music: Ses baisers me grisaient - Emily Loizeau
01 November 2008 @ 07:50 pm

Yesterday I finished book #6, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I liked it, but not as much as I did Coraline.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAfter someone has murdered his family, a toddler is taken in and lovingly raised by the inhabitants of an old graveyard. "Bod" is to stay there until he is grown and it's safe for him to go and live in the outside world (because his family's murderer is still out there and wants to finish the job).

The first chapter and last two chapters were very good, I thought. The ones in-between felt a bit uneven. There were some improbabilities that bothered me: f.e. when Bod goes into town to sell a jewel, because he needs money to buy something for a friend. He is 8 years old, has never been outside the graveyard, has never seen money or shops — how would he know where to go, what to say, what to do? Also, in his reasoning he often seemed older than he actually was.

I thought it was a pity that none of the dead were really scary. Even the ghouls were rather comical, with the Bishop of Bath and Wells giving me a right Blackadder moment. The only threat to Bod's existence is posed by living people. It gave me the impression that the book was written for a slightly younger age group than Coraline was.

I didn't much care for Dave McKean's illustrations, I think I would have preferred Chris Riddell's (was that the UK edition he did?). Something I did like: the way the dead are introduced by what's written on their headstone, f.e.:

'Bod's left ankle was swollen and purple. Doctor Trefusis (1870-1936, May He Wake to Glory) inspected it and pronounced it merely sprained.' (p.96)

All in all I give the book 3/5.

#7 is not a book but a short story. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a mere 6 pages long (in print-out). I read it this morning, so officially it doesn't count I guess, but let's pretend that in the U.S. it was still 31 October, even if it was after midnight.

I already knew The Lottery from a film I saw on TV, but even if I hadn't I would have seen what was coming from a mile away. Still, it was a good story. I've nothing to say about it that hasn't been said a hundred times before. 3/5

So this wraps up the R.I.P. III Challenge for me. This was my initial list:

Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle — read, 3/5
A.A. Merritt: Burn, Witch, Burn! — read, 2/5
Poppy Z. Brite: His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood and other stories — read, 1/5
Shirley Jackson: The Lottery — read, 3/5

Albert Sánchez Piñol: Nachtlicht (La pell freda/Cold Skin), and
A.M. Homes: The End of Alice — still going to read these two, as I may not wish to keep them and desperately need to make some room on my shelves

Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White — saving for winter
Marghanita Laski: The Victorian Chaise-longue — saving, for the next R.I.P. Challenge perhaps?
W.F. Hermans: De donkere kamer van Damokles (The Darkroom of Damocles) — saving for now

Not on my list, but also read (and bought, ack!*):

Chris Priestley: Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror, 3/5
Neil Gaiman: Coraline, 4/5
Neil Gaiman: The Graveyard Book, 3/5

Also watched the TV film of The Woman in Black — not as scary as I had hoped/feared, but very atmospheric and nicely done; 3/5.

Having so many books as yet unread, or read so long ago that I don't remember a thing about them, I am rather spoiled for choice. A challenge like this helps to narrow down my choices. I really enjoyed the R.I.P. Challenge and I'd like to thank Carl for hosting it. I hope to join again next year!

*It had not been my intention to buy more books, and having no place on the shelves for these three, I made a firm resolve not to add to the pile until I had gotten rid of a respectable number. Next thing I know I'm reading an email by Persephone Books informing me that the new catalogue and Biannually are on their way and my first reaction is "Ooh! Ordering time!"
Somebody save me.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Yuri - Oi Va Voi
27 September 2008 @ 07:23 pm

RIP Paul Newman

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Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Theme from Exodus
29 August 2008 @ 12:30 am


Danielle's post on Carl's R.I.P. Challenge made me aware of this yearly event running from 1 September through 31 October, when participants read one, two, or four books fitting into the following categories:

Dark Fantasy

Usually these challenges don't appeal to me because all too soon it starts to feel like homework, but reading one book of your choice must be doable for anyone and as I had planned on reading a few scary novels this autumn anyway, I decided to join and do Peril #2: read two books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories.

Scouring my shelves I was surprised to find at least 25 books that fitted into these categories. Here is my shortlist of 9 titles:

Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle — a recent addition to my library

Marghanita Laski: The Victorian Chaise-longue — also bought recently

Albert Sánchez Piñol: Nachtlicht (La pell freda/Cold Skin)

A.A. Merritt: Burn, Witch, Burn! — pulp, but a R.I.P.ing yarn nevertheless. I tore through this twice when I was a teen (in the Dutch translation, with the less sensationalist title De poppen van Madame Mandilip), and probably will again. Public domain.

W.F. Hermans: De donkere kamer van Damokles (The Darkroom of Damocles) — this is also a reread. The English translation that appeared recently is very good and I urge everyone to read it, because this brilliant Dutch classic deserves a wider audience.

Poppy Z. Brite: His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood and other stories

A.M. Homes: The End of Alice

Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White

Shirley Jackson: The Lottery — a (very) short story, also public domain.

I hope to be able to read four of these, but as I had already planned on reading some other books in September, I will be happy with two.

Oh yes, and I intend to watch The Woman in Black (based on the novel by Susan Hill), and A Bucket of Blood. Finally!

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Watching the detectives - Elvis Costello
30 November 2005 @ 12:19 am

... because it's been awhile, and because I got John Cusack! As did practically everybody else, but yay anyway! :)

Good. You know your music. You should be able to
work at Championship Vinyl with Rob, Dick and

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Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Lucky you - Lightning Seeds
06 November 2005 @ 07:17 pm

When I came back from the doctor it was still quite early, and I decided to watch the second half of Angels in America, finally! I found it just as brilliant as I did last year, and I'm thinking of making it a tradition to watch it every autumn.

With the arrival of Marianne Faithfull the next day the angelfest was continued a little longer (her "Crazy love" will forever be linked to AiA in my mind). "Last song" is another favourite of mine on the album.

The latter half of the week the weather turned lovely, or heavenly, to keep in style, with temperatures of around 20°C. On Thursday I was even moved to tear myself away from the computer in my lunch break in order to go for a walk with J.

The weekend was the warmest last weekend of October ever recorded. It was also the end of daylight saving time, which meant an extra hour of sleep. Hurrah! My biological clock hates DST, and 7 months out of 12 is simply too long.

Oh yes, and on Wednesday I watched All the Queen's men. Rather disappointing on the whole, but Eddie Izzard was hilarious as the diva giving a performance for the Germans. He really seemed to be enjoying himself. :D

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Wonderful world - Nine Horses
02 October 2005 @ 11:15 pm

Nothing much has happened.

While shopping on 21 September I came across a DVD box with the first season of Dead like me and thinking it was a stroke of luck I immediately bought it, but a few days later I saw several of those boxes in another shop at 5 euros cheaper.

I am rather surprised that Dead like me should be released on DVD here when it was only broadcast by one rather obscure TV station, while The league of gentlemen, which has been shown several times on two Dutch stations, a Belgian station and the BBC, has been impossible to get so far, at least the complete box set including the Christmas specials. But I'll keep looking out for it.

The next Friday, 23 September, I could pick up Yossi & Jagger from the post office. When I came home I immediately tried out the DVD and fortunately this time the image was fine. I watched the film over the weekend, in bits and pieces, because I kept being interrupted by phonecalls and people stopping by unexpectedly. I was very happy to find it was the film version after all, and not the shorter TV version. The DVD also includes the trailer, two music videos, a "making of" (without subtitles, which made me want to learn Hebrew), and an earlier short film by the same director. I watched that one last week, but I must say I didn't care for it.

Yesterday Kink FM celebrated their 10th anniversary. :) They will broadcast the Outlaw 666 from tomorrow, but as it is from 9 am until 8 pm, I won't be able to hear much of it.

It also was the final day of the DDD (three crazy days) at the Bijenkorf. Most things I wanted were either sold out already or disappointing irl, but I did score The crying game for 4 euros. :)

And I had another dizzy spell yesterday. I was sitting at the computer and I suddenly felt as if I would keel over. The feeling lasted for hours, it was as if my head kept being pulled sideways. I have had those spells occasionally for about a year, I think. Maybe I should go to the doctor. Also, since I've gone back to work I have gradually started coughing again. Something in the airconditioning, perhaps? But if that were the case I wouldn't be coughing at home too, would I? Although this weekend I haven't been, come to think of it. Hmmm.

It is now 22.30 and I am dead tired. And I'm a bit unsatisfied with what I've (not) accomplished this weekend. Mail has been piling up for weeks and I haven't even looked at it yet. Nor have I vacuumed or done the ironing. *sigh* Oh well. If I go to bed early I may feel more energetic tomorrow. If the mosquito that woke me up at 5.30 this morning will leave me alone, that is..

Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Wrap your troubles in dreams - Nico
18 September 2005 @ 11:59 pm

I don't think I have ever said here how much I love my iPod. I have never wanted to have a walkman or discman, I didn't feel the need, and I only bought an iPod because I fell for the clever marketing. It took me until this year to actually start using it, but now I wouldn't want to do without any more.

I don't particularly care for the feel of the earphones in my ears, but hearing the music so "close" is a revelation to me. It is wonderful to discern all the rich detail in beautifully produced albums, like the ones by Tori, Nick Drake, Spinvis or David Bowie. On the other hand, there are songs which I can't bear to hear over my earphones; "Hurt" by NIN springs to mind.

Last week I was busy in the kitchen, listening to my iPod (in shuffle mode, as usual), when a song by The Smiths came by that I don't think I had ever heard before. It hit me like a hammer. I stopped whatever I was doing and sat down to listen to it quietly. The song was "Pretty girls make graves". I can't believe I have never heard it before, it is so good. It shot right up into my top 3 of favourite songs by them. It is not that often that I am swept off my feet by a song at first hearing, and it has completely rekindled my love affair with The Smiths.

There was a summer (it must have been 1984) when every good song I heard on the radio — and radio to me then meant Radio Caroline — was by The Smiths. Except for "Hand in glove" by Sandie Shaw, which, I later found out, was actually also by The Smiths.

I especially liked the combination of the cheerful, upbeat music with Morrissey's whiny voice and lyrics. The songs that also had whiny music, like "How soon is now?" took a little longer to get into, but in time I learned to love them, too.

Over the years I have listened to them on and off; sometimes intensively, sometimes not at all. Especially at this time of year, with autumn around the corner, I need to be careful with them, because no matter how happy I feel, they never fail to make me melancholy, and if I feel melancholy to begin with they can make me depressed. So after a few days of immersing myself in Smiths music I thought it wise to start listening again to some happier tunes as well.

But before that, on one Smiths-drenched night, I was looking around the IMDb forums and found a review of a DVD which contained the original TV production of Yossi & Jagger, in Hebrew with English subtitles. The TV film is even shorter than the cinema release, but as the review was very favourable and also said that the image was crisp and clear, I followed the link to the Israeli Internet shop selling it, and I ordered it straightaway. The next morning I already had confirmation (and in faultless Dutch, too) that they had sent off the DVD. So I am in happy (and slightly anxious) anticipation of that.

And on Friday afternoon I went to the hairdresser's to get a haircut and a colour rinse. This was the first time ever I had my hair coloured and I was surprised at the amount of time it took. Very expensive too, and all for something that will wash out in about 8 times. But I am very pleased with the results. It is now quite short again, I was getting fed up with hair falling into my eyes and causing irritation and inflammation. And the colour is slightly darker brown than my own colour, and neatly covers the grey. I think next time I'll go for this same colour, but in permanent dye.

In other news, Waking the dead is getting weirder with each new series, and I can't say I care for it much. And I see that tomorrow night ARTE is going to repeat Yossi & Jagger. Ack! I hope I can resist the temptation to watch it again, it is on until 2.30.

Current Mood: soresore (pounding headache)
Current Music: Pretty girls make graves - The Smiths
12 September 2005 @ 01:58 am

So yeah. Buffet froid. It was very interesting to see that film again after so many years. As I wrote earlier, I had seen it in 1992, and according to the diary I recovered from my old computer some months ago, Belgian TV broadcast it on 24 September and German TV on 13 December. I hadn't remembered seeing it twice. Memory is such an unreliable thing.

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What had stayed with me was the laconic way in which death was treated. I have long since found out that (I've said it before) anything that puts life and death into perspective works as an anti-depressant for me, so it was easy to understand why this film had appealed to me. Still, I was surprised at the impact it had had. What I saw now was a pitch-black absurdist comedy, very amusing at times, but as soon as the credits rolled it had all but disappeared from my mind.

Whereas Yossi & Jagger, on the other hand, was still there and refused to go away. I figured that perhaps this was one of those films that I could love even while being aware of all its flaws, a bit like Different for girls, and by Saturday I had decided that I wanted it on DVD. So when I came home yesterday I went to Fame and fortunately they had a copy. I bought it, along with The panic in Needle Park (YAY!), Young Frankenstein, Analyze this, and Ghost world (another yay!).

Back home I immediately played Yossi & Jagger and I noticed that the things that had bothered me the first time hardly bothered me now. I've really made a complete about-turn. I still think the film is too short (a little over an hour), but that also means it has no room for sentimentality, while still being able to move the audience.

Unfortunately my copy was faulty. The images kept disintegrating, I don't know how to put it otherwise. I had never really considered the possibility that DVDs might not work (naive, I know), but last week a colleague told me she had had to go back with a DVD because it wouldn't play, and hey presto! here I am having problems too. Ack! I hope the rest of my collection is all right, there's a lot I haven't watched yet.

All the same, I was able to make several good screen caps (I learned how to yesterday, especially for the occasion).

I looked on the 'Net for a review of the Dutch release and didn't find it, but I did come across gay bookshop Vrolijk's website ('vrolijk' is a translation of the earlier meaning of 'gay', i.e. cheerful, light-hearted) and I found out that they not only have books, but also a large collection of DVDs. I thought they might also have a version with English subtitles, so this afternoon, after returning my copy to Fame, I headed for Vrolijk.

I found a British release of Dog day afternoon (very unexpected, a triple yay!), and the Dutch release of Yossi & Jagger (2 euros cheaper than at Fame). I was told that the former had no release with Dutch subtitles and the latter none with English (except the American region 1, which I can't play), so I bought both after making sure I could exchange my copy of Y&J if it turned out to be faulty too.

Unfortunately that was the case. It looked exactly like the first one. So I went back to Vrolijk and got my money back. The guy at the counter told me that he had sold many already and had had no complaints, and that it was probably my disk drive having problems with this particular DVD, that happens sometimes. That did not make me vrolijk at all, in fact I was inordinately disappointed, considering I did not even like the film that much just a few days ago. Not even having found Dog day afternoon could cheer me up, but later I remembered to have a look at Amazon UK and according to their website the British release of Y&J will be on 14 November. So there is still hope I can get my hands on a copy I can play properly. And in the mean time I have my screen caps to keep me warm. :)

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: Coz I luv you - Slade
12 June 2005 @ 08:47 pm

Guess which film I watched last night for the nth time...

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Current Mood: giddygiddy
03 May 2005 @ 05:59 pm

Unfortunately the weather on 'Koninginnedag' (30 April) was not half as good as predicted, but Sunday was warm and glorious. In the morning I went for a walk in the park. In the afternoon I first watched an energetic Franz Ferdinand concert on TV, recorded live at Pinkpop last year (I really must buy their CD), and when the sun had left my garden I sat outside reading until 7. My rumbling stomach finally drove me back inside to make dinner.

Recently I read a raving review of Extremely loud & incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer and I had planned to go out yesterday afternoon to check it out at the bookshop. As luck would have it, the chapter I read in So many books, so little time yesterday morning dealt with hypes. Sara Nelson specifically mentioned Safran Foer's first book Everything is illuminated, and that she felt a resistance to it because it had been hyped so much. She liked it, but didn't think it was all that brilliant.

So it was with slightly curbed enthusiasm that I set out to the bookshops. It didn't take long for me to surrender to EL&IC, though. Intriguing illustrations and layout, not as weird as House of leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (another hyped book I couldn't resist at the time), but interesting enough. So even if the story or the style of writing turn out to be disappointing, at least it's a good-looking book.

And this morning I rolled out of bed to watch L'une chante, l'autre pas by Agnès Varda on TV5. It must be at least 20, maybe even 25 years since I last saw it, and when I checked the new TV guide last week I was overjoyed to see the announcement. Later I suddenly remembered that I was scheduled for an appointment with the dental hygienist at the same time the film would be on, so I immediately called her to postpone it. It is important to get one's priorities right.

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L'une chante, l'autre pas is typically '70s. That era was great for film, and especially for European cinema. Most of my favourites date back to that time, although that could have more to do with my being an impressionable teenager then. I still loved the film today, though.

Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Current Music: Song for Sharon - Joni Mitchell
13 March 2005 @ 11:55 pm

Today I watched My friend Joe. I was very curious to see how they had adapted the novel (incidentally called Johnny, my friend in English) for the screen. Of course I had realised that Peter Pohl's brilliant writing style would be lost, but I was dismayed to find they had changed the whole story around as well, turning it into a fairly harmless family movie. It is a good enough story in its own right, I suppose, but it cannot hold a candle to the original. Shame.

This afternoon I cleaned the bathroom. Applying a cleaning tip I had seen in Houses behaving badly, I mixed equal parts of baking soda and bleach to clean the tiles in the shower, more in particular the grouting. Gawd, that stuff is vile! Not only did the smell transport me back straightaway to my schooldays swimming lessons (UGH!), but it also made my eyes sting, my throat burn and gave me a coughing fit before I was even halfway. Snot was literally running down my nose. So instead of letting it sit for 10 minutes, I opened several doors and windows to create a draught and rinsed the gunk off immediately, making sure everything had gone. Needless to say, the effect on the grouting was hardly noticeable.

It is now evening and my throat still feels dry, and I'm coughing occasionally. The leftover bleach is going straight back to my mum's (I had borrowed it from her), I don't want it in my house ever again. This was the first and the last time I used it. I'll stick to baking soda and vinegar from now on!

From sophyQ, a looong memeCollapse )

Current Mood: thirstythirsty
Current Music: Andy Warhol - David Bowie
23 February 2005 @ 11:34 pm

The weekend was full, but nice, except that H. (the BF) was ill. I had to write a few application letters, and have been decluttering, mostly papers. Saturday night I watched From hell, which proved that a film with Johnny Depp and a host of great British actors can still be shite. On Sunday night I went to see a comic play with my mum and we had a great time. We told each other we should really do this more often. We'll see.

Monday night the BBC showed The conversation and of course I had to watch it.

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This was the third or fourth time for me, and while I still find it a great film, I think I'm done with it now. A bit odd, because usually when I love a film I can watch it over and over again, but in this case the element of suspense is too important, I guess. When you've seen it and know what's going to happen, it loses a lot of its interest. But perhaps that's just the way I feel because it lasted until 3 a.m. and by 2:30 I had already become very sleepy and wanted the film to end.

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This morning I woke up to a white world. Ugh! Snow is nice for the Christmas holidays and that's about it, IMO. Fortunately in the afternoon most of it had gone, but more is expected. Hrm. Some good news: I received the reintegration plan today, so tomorrow I'll phone up my case manager (if he is in...) to make an appointment, or maybe I can just drop it off.

I also made a culinary discovery. Last year I had bought a pack of instant miso soup from the organic shop, as I had heard that it is a healthy snack and very suitable for hypoglycaemics, due to its protein content. After trying 3 times I decided that I Did Not Care for miso soup. I still had 9 one-cup-packets left, and this afternoon when I felt peckish I tried it again, but this time I added some dried bruschetta which I had acquired recently. And it tasted really good! I might even buy the miso soup again. :D

And over the past few days I have tried to catch up with lj, but people have been posting like mad, so I'm not quite up to date yet... well, what else is new.

Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Plain gold ring - Nina Simone
09 February 2005 @ 08:56 pm

This evening I saw an experimental film about 'a day in the life of' Berlin in the 1920s: Berlin - die Sinfonie der Großstadt by Walter Ruttmann, dating from 1927. Fascinating stuff. TV5 broadcast it at an awkward time, but fortunately the TV guide paid attention to it in an article, otherwise I would probably have missed it. It ended at 19:45. Just enough time for me to have something to eat, clean up afterwards, and write this before part 1 of La meglio gioventù begins. I can't imagine I'll like that as much as I did this film.

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Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: Motherland - Natalie Merchant
28 January 2005 @ 12:45 am

...but I'm just not in the mood for any serious posts at the moment. And I really liked these:

from heartofdavid:

My japanese name is 松尾 Matsuo (tail of a pine tree) 美晴 Miharu (beautiful clear sky).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

What a beautiful combination, and I love names beginning with an M. :)

from bookish_theoric:

You scored as Artistic. Congratulations, you scored Artistic. You're looking for the unique movie in the bunch. You've probably watched a lot of movies that nobody has ever heard of, and good for you. You also know good filmmaking when you see it. You just get it, no questions asked. Check out: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Amelie, Garden State, Lost in Translation.








Romantic Comedy


Sadistic Humour




Mindless Action Flick


Movie Recommendation.
created with QuizFarm.com

Of these films, I have only seen Amélie, but the rest are on my wish list.

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Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Gimme shelter - Rolling Stones / Invitation - Earth & Fire
09 December 2004 @ 04:12 pm

Last night I watched Different for girls for the nth time. Can't explain why, I don't even think it is such a good film - a sappy feel-good movie really, and I find Rupert Graves' acting rather over the top here -, but I just love it to bits. Whenever it is shown on TV I will watch it, even in the middle of the night, as it was this time. :)

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Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: Bohemian like you - Dandy Warhols
30 November 2004 @ 12:23 am

This morning I was up at 7, because the heating engineer would come round to check the system and for all I knew he might be at the door at 8. He arrived at 9:45 and was gone at 10:30 or so, leaving the rest of the day to me. It is really nice to have such a long day, I must admit.

I spent a successful afternoon shopping, both for Sinterklaas and myself. I bought the Angels in America DVD for myself (yay!), and also DVDs of The Big Lebowski (hey Jackie! :D ) and Barton Fink. A Dutch newspaper offers 2 Coen brothers films every week for a special price. Next week it will be The Hudsucker Proxy and O Brother Where Art Thou, which I also want. These 4 are my favourites, together with Fargo, but that one is in a set with a film I don't care for. I can always buy Fargo separately, but of course I do not have to own every film I like a lot.

Among other things I bought 2 books as presents and of course could not resist the temptation to buy a book for me, too. Windows on the World by Frédéric Beigbeder, definitely not a fun read, but gripping and compelling, to judge from the bits I read here and there. I would like to push all my current reading aside and start this book immediately, but it will have to wait until the holidays are over. Bleak January will be a perfect month for it.

A really good day, all in all. I'm afraid tomorrow will be less great. In the afternoon I'm having a talk with someone from Social Security to discuss my reintegration (i.e. into the working classes). I am so not looking forward to that. I have heard several first-hand accounts of the pointlessness of this so-called 'reintegration process'. Well, I refuse to think about it now and ruin my day.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Caroline says, part 2 - Lou Reed
20 November 2004 @ 11:51 pm

Thursday night I watched A beautiful mind. The TV guide dismissed it as a tearjerker, but actually I didn't think it was that bad at all. Last night I saw Lista de espera, a charming and funny fairy tale about a bunch of people waiting at a bus station. I enjoyed it very much.

Another case of serendipity: one of anaimia's photographs (the limbless mannequin) reminded me of the harpy in Raoul Servais' Harpya. When I checked the spelling of the director's name I found a site where this short animated film can be seen. If you like a dark thriller with some wry humour, have a look! The only line of any importance is "Dag Oscar!", which translates as "Hello Oscar!", so that should not pose a problem. ;)

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Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Bitter's end - Roxy Music