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words of wisdom

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I'm really liking Nigella's current TV series Nigella Kitchen. So far it has already inspired me to make two of its recipes, and there are a few more I'd like to try out. Tonight I did spaghetti alla puttanesca a.k.a. slut's spaghetti. It was very tasty. I'm quite fond of pasta with tomato sauce and it's nice to have several variations to choose from.


This afternoon I went to the library, for the first time in almost a year. Something had gone wrong with the automatic renewal of my membership and had to be sorted out, and five books I want to read urgently were *all* available. A very successful visit.

But first I want to finish Thumbelina. I'm afraid it looks like it will end in a vale of tears.


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scared

R.I.P. Challenge book #6, and wrap-up


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.

4/5


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.


tension

TV meme, days 28 and 29


One post for yesterday's and today's related questions.

Day 28 - First t.v. show obsession

My first obsession was with Twin Peaks, I suppose (in 1990), although it was not nearly as bad as last year's obsession with the first series of Being Human and this year's with Life on Mars.

Day 29 - Current t.v. show obsession

Current obsession with a t.v. show: Life on Mars; obsession with a current t.v. show: none.


And now the end is near: last question tomorrow!


omgwtf

TV meme, day 27


Day 27 - Best pilot episode

I take this to mean a real pilot, not just a first episode. I only know of a few, and of these I love the Due South and Twin Peaks ones. As I didn't see the Due South pilot until I'd watched some of the series, I'm choosing Twin Peaks. It did what a good pilot is supposed to do: it drew me in and had me hooked in no time.


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headdesk

TV meme, day 26


Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale

It had been my understanding that Philip Glenister didn't want to do a third series of Ashes to Ashes, so the cliffhanger ending of 2.08 took me completely by surprise at the time. Only later did I learn that a third series had been commissioned.

Something similar happened with Nurse Jackie. I thoroughly enjoyed this show, but the final episode (or so I thought) ended in chaos. It all but killed my love for the series, until I read on IMDb that there was going to be a second season. (And, as I now see, a third one as well. How silly of me to think they would quit so soon!) Anyway, looking forward to it.


peeking

TV meme, day 25


Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)

The Devil's Whore is the last title in my John Simm project (for the time being);

I've also bought Blackpool, because this gif made me curious:



Only the first series of Slings & Arrows was shown here at the time, but I have all three and I plan on watching the whole thing this coming autumn;

and I don't think I've ever seen the complete Black Books, only random episodes. I should probably remedy that. Fortunately they have both series at my library. [ETA: apparently there were three series made, oh well.]


words of wisdom

TV meme, day 24


Day 24 - Best quote

My love for language-based comedy means I have many, many favourite quotes, but most of them aren't as funny when read out of context or if the characters are unfamiliar. Therefore I'm picking only one today, Basil talking to himself in the Fawlty Towers episode "Communication Problems" (1979).

Several variations can be found online, but Belgian TV conveniently repeated the episode last Monday, so I sat poised, pen in hand, to check whether I had the quote word-perfect. I hadn't, but I do now.

"ZOOM!"
"What was that?"
"That was your life, mate."
"Oh, that was quick. Do I get another?"
"Sorry mate, that's your lot!"


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omgwtf

TV meme, day 23


Day 23 - Most annoying character

I am pretty sure we are meant to agree with Blackadder that Lord Flashheart is an arrogant git, but my dislike was such at first that I could barely watch him whenever he was on screen. (Nothing to do with Rik Mayall, it was purely the character.) It took some rewatching before I understood, and cracked up at, a rather crude joke of his and after that I couldn't not like him any more.

Other characters I have found annoying include: Daisy in Dead Like Me; Buster in Arrested Development; Lucy in Being Human; Alex in series 1 of Ashes to Ashes; and also somewhat in series 3, because she seems so taken with Jim Keats, whom any person in their right mind can see is an utter creep.

But the start of the third series of Mistresses has reminded me how much I want to slap Katie. She must certainly win first prize here, with Trudi from the same series coming in a close second.


sad

TV meme, day 22


Day 22 - Favorite series finale

The first time I saw "Goodbyeee" (the Blackadder Goes Forth finale) I hated it with a vengeance. I actually shouted at the TV that "this is supposed to be a comedy, for god's sake!" Other series of Blackadder had ended in death, but they were still funny. This one was just bleak and depressing.

Over time it has steadily grown on me though, and nowadays it's not only my favourite Blackadder Goes Forth episode, but also one of the best series endings I have ever seen.


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