Finished Dresden Files book 8 Proven Guilty. Another good one: fear-eating spirits attack a horror movie festival. Ending is slightly unsatisfying though, with the main villain not being caught..
What I'm Reading 2
Dresden Files book 9: White Night. Another excellent one, with a long-standing plot element reaching a kind of resolution. This one has a serial killer stalking the minor magic-users of Chicago.
Unfortunately, that's the last one he's written. The next one, "Small Favor" isn't expected till April 2008. Dammit, now I have to read serious stuff. Well, got the latest Steph Swainston too but ought to read serious stuff.
Mainly due to the Teaching Company audiolectures, I seem to be reading and listening to a lot more this year. From the graph, this is my most-read year since 2003.
Disappointed by the movie though. Was very long and very slow-moving with a distinct shortage of events, and a distinct surplus of panning shots of Stasi-guy wearing headphones: all the tension drains away into tedium and you start hoping for someone to get shot. Also pretty heavy-handed. The loneliness of Stasi-guy Wiesler is a bit convenient, and the death of the girlfriend was pretty silly. Nicely gritty comic prostitute scene though.
Briefly popped in to the BP portrait award at the National Portrait Gallery. Seemed to be a generally high quality but nothing much particular stuck out. Some nice reflection in this huge sunglasses portrait.
Mixed results in the experiment so far. Managed seven days with virtually no alcohol (splash of whisky in a hot chocolate one day), which theoretically should mean I'm a pound down. The actual weigh-in had me two pounds up. I think that was a freak reading though since I didn't have any big meals that week.
On the other hand, found it easier than I expected: slept OK without a nightcap and had no real cravings.
Acton Farmers' Market Report
- New potatoes: surprise win. Didn't think there'd be any difference there: surely a potato is just a potato, especially when it's new, but these seemed to have distinctly tastier skins.
- Tomatoes: nice, but no nicer than the premium "vine-ripened" supermarket models
- (Unshelled) broad beans: nice, but no nicer than the regular supermarket variety
- Bread: unsure. Got this sourdough rye stuff for a change, and not sure how it's supposed to taste. Tasty but as heavy as cast iron: rather like Dwarf Bread. More research needed.
- Lamb chops: delicious, tasty, tender, meat falls off the bone. Rather fatty though, which suits me but might disgust others.
- Pork chop: like the lamb chop, big, tasty, bit fatty.
- Steak and kidney pie: disappointing. Don't think the kidneys had been soaked for long enough: bit too pungent and the chunks were a bit too big and rubbery. Superb pastry though.
- Cooked Cornish pasty. Also a bit disappointing. Again, great pastry but an uninspired filling, and you don't get the hot-and-fresh-from-the-oven effect. At £2.50 each I think I'm better off getting a mediocre-but-fresh one from Greggs.
Tescos now deliver without carrier bags. Seems to work pretty well: the website suggested there'd be a lot of fuss, but he just handed me the pallets, I emptied them and it seemed quicker than the carrier bag method if anything.
However, I'm now running low on carrier bags to line small bins with and keep umbrellas in and so on. Will need to get some more next time.
The Metrosexual Tarot.
Part of body language includes courtesy things like 'excuse me', 'please', 'thanks', 'cheers', 'see ya' and being the first to say 'hi'. It is often an effort to say these things but then perhaps courtesy is supposed to be an effort...The Lancashire Hotpots. "Emotions? Tha's from Lancashire, tha's not got none of those."
It can often be an effort to have a shower or a bath three times a week and to wear deodorant but it is much easier to talk to people if you feel you are clean and if you cannot be smelt. Remember, if you smell you might not be aware of it.
Pretty pointless Israel article but one bit struck me:
Have you ever wondered why everyone goes on and on about Israel? It is a tiny, tiny country, not much bigger than the Canary Islands. From the West Bank to the sea, the width of Israel is nine miles. You could fit the entire country into the state of Florida seven times. In his magnificent work The Case for Democracy the former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky provides the neocon explanation of why a local dispute involving a nation the size of a pocket handkerchief is regarded as one of the most important conflicts in the world.
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