Friday, January 27, 2006

Tanzania geographic 023Howdy.

Yes, I've just got back from seeing Brokeback Mountain, and yes I came via an open late Sainsbury's, and yes they had reduced bakery items in which the flour serves only to emulsify the fat in the sugar, and yep, I've just eaten too many, hence have the dual forces of tiredness and sugar-rushiness driving my brain into that chatty, witty, meaningless bollocks stage which I sometimes obtain when I've been drinking. So if I sound like I'm drunk, then sorry, but I'm not.

The pointlessly sucrose laden items in question (and there will be a whole lot of iteming as I'm still far too amused [and too easily amused] by "Unexpected item in the bagging area", which came to prominence in last week's The Now Show (prob still on Radio 4's website until Saturday). In it they merciless rip the piss from something which is just nigh on nonsensical, or merely so vague as to virtually meaningless. Basically, there's a lot of mocking which leads into someone discussing a testicular exam, which leads into the line "unexpected item in the bagging area". Yep I just shamelessly nicked someone else's joke and then horrendously mangled all the comedy out of it (and woah, I just unintentionally reverted that "mangled" to the original meaning). Anyway, for this reason Sainsbury's is now the funniest place in retaildom. Unfortunately I can't use the self-scan thing UIITBA stems from as I buy reduced things, and for that you need personal assistance, so today's was only because I was queuing next door and it was empty, so I got gestured round).

Returning to one of my many points, the sugar transportation units were labelled Yum-Yums, which weird The Goodies tie-ins aside, does sound like they are going to be more disappointing than Kinder Surprises (Google Bill Bailey on this site, and I'm sure you'll soon find alles klar, which I've probably hideously misspelt). I mean they're called Yum-Yums, ergo (and I think that is my first ever ergo, as I much prefer Lego) they will not be as yummy, scrummy and for your tummy as their name suggests. But they appear to be doughnuts left to stew in syrup, kind of like a hailstone.

Anyway, I went to see a film, and as if to prove my inability to handle sugar, the slump induced by one Fruit Pastille meant I nearly fell asleep as Heath Ledger pounds frantically away at Jake Gyllenhall's filets of topside. Yep, I was struggling to stay awake during the uber-macho sex scene. In my defence the image is quite dark (and as my brother pointed out later, I've got both sides of the family to inherit my complete emotional detachment from).

But moving away from the torpor-inducing grunting (ok, it wasn't inducing, merely coincidental), the film is gorgeous, wonderful stunning, powerful, in fact probably whatever most of the critics quoted in the posters said. It is a good film. It also happened to make me think a few things along the way, such as the profound "I need to do more exercise" as body comparisons aren’t all that favourable, and there's not really enough leeway in the language or the human mind that could ever allow the words "damn fine arse" to apply to me, although it was once memorably described as pert, which does rather suggest she hadn't been paying all that much attention. But as her boyfriend is distinctly on the flaccid side, she probably isn't a connoisseur (do such thing exist?). The even more insightful: "I need some new jeans", which while technically true before the film (and for about a year before that), was prompted visions of the DFAs striding manfully and well fittingly up mountains or straddling horses [and each other].

I appear to have got a bit fixated. Moving on (and I think the sugar is wearing off)…

Film good, I've done. "Perhaps" I haven't.

In my quest to piss off all my regular readers (and did you note how I use "all" to suggest multitudes, when I think I can probably on scrap together a tude?), I asked people to guess where something was. It's now been solved. But one of the answers I gave, in response to Dan (DFA status: unknown. What? I've started the topic, so I may as well finish [or carry on with gay abandon. No pun intended], and suggesting posterior distinction is as good a way of flattery as any), was to answer "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps", which I later realised was a subconscious link to the answer, as it is the theme tune to the BBC comedy Coupling, and the item in question, which was not in the bagging area, although it was in Covent Garden (and now my brain is wondering just where exactly is the bagging area for London? A certain lay-by beside the A3 probably), was the London Transport Museum, and what connects trains? Mais oui, l'attelage.

And by comedy, I mean the programme featuring the Miles from This Life, the guy who's at the Old Vic and who my brother saw in Pret a Manger (now there's showbiz for you. He's also particularly scathing about Jonathan Ross's car) and that bug-eyed woman who I think gets cast in unfunny comedies because she has the appearance and demeanour of a long discarded Barbie. The programme which is designed to be watched by young professionals, who come home late, and are cooking in a different room to the one it's on in. So there's enough familiarity in the situations that there exhausted brains don't have to think, and the BBC don't need to pay more money to get better writers who would make the show funnier, as the only people watching it spend at least a third of the programme in a different room, so whenever they come back in they assume something funny just happened, and like buses, they're be another one along in a minute. By which time of course, they can hear something boiling over, or the ping of the microwave, and have left the room. So they imagine it to be funny because it's a comedy programme lots of people they know watch, even though none of them actually watch a whole episode and discover it's not a series of punchlines and witticisms erratically placed throughout the programme, but an unrelenting conveyer belt of dull filler. The entire show is the build up. It's the mundane which makes the exception stand out, except there is no exception.

The bus thing is grossly untrue. When they say every 4-7 minutes, what they mean is that there are on average ten buses an hour, although 56% of the day's quota will drive past in convoy at 2.28 pm. And like lifts (23 storey buildings excepted), it's quicker to walk (should I worry that I can beat lifts on the Underground, even at the places so deep that every strike closes them?)

But "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" seems to be a recurring theme in recent days. First came Flickr, then the plaintive sax deep below Euston (if only I wasn't broke and late), and the Spanish version in Brokeback Mountain. And anyway, it's a nicer song to have trolling round my head than the theme to Fraggle Rock (someone Googled, wanting to know where in Portsmouth it is, and so the tune got stuck), although I could equally walked away from the film with the theme to Dawson's Creek up there (and why is it people say "up there", when they're thinking of it here? Where do you visualise your thoughts occurring?), as both "Oh, oh, oh, it's… um…" end in that programme (which of course I can never admit to watching, and thus I can never be able to say "oh, it's her" if said her had been in it).

And I think I've only just got how pointed the lyrics, "you wouldn't admit you love me, and so…", are at that point of the film (yes, I just gave away part of them film, although I could have been talking about the bit where one won't admit the other to hospital).

Anyway, recurring themes happen. Understandable sentimentality also happens (and for it to be understandable to me does demonstrate just how good this film is. I tend towards the ruthless. I prefer to see it as pragmatic, and yet it's probably just being emotionally inept. Maybe I just need someone to go rockhunting with [and think of all the ones that got away]).

Oh, and some scenes in it are superbly shot, and I'm not just saying that because of the nudity (even if I do manage to be distracted by the horse in the background, or the reflection in the rear windscreen of a pickup). Ok, so some of the epic scenery is actually a little on the dull side (it's scree! It's just scree with a couple of pines sticking out).

Damn fine film containing some damn fine filming, some damn fine acting, some damn fine dialogue, some damn fine scenery and even some damn fine asses (no, it really did have donkeys).

But how on earth can anyone speak with such little movement? Heath Ledger's tea-straining face not only saves swallowing errant flies, it also saves saying most sounds. But I would it was fluke or casting that saw the thin-lipped, tight-lipped, stiff-upper-lipped Ledger play opposite the pouting, voluptuous, malleable and mobile lipped Gyllenhall (and yes, I am aware I've probably used 3 different spellings of his name, while still not being entirely sure if he's Kent or Dorset). It's curious how the lips are the characters - overt, slick, sensuous, tempting, come hither [green, if you've been reading the same ads on the tube as I have] versus taut and repressed, always having to be drawn.

But it's very late (I write slowly ok, even when typing, blame the same thing which adds lottery fun to phone numbers [I'll think the right order but say a different one. So people get brains which colour in words, whereas mine makes them up as I go along]) so I'd better stop, as it's a weeknight and unlike Dan I need sleep. Basically, film good regardless of who you are, but if you like good looking bodies (with a bias towards male, but not a total bias) then that's an added bonus (uh-oh, the lottery, Sainsbury's self-scan and male nudity have all combined to form a unified image). Go and see it.

Next week was going to be Jarhead, but my brother's going with other people, so I need to find other people to go with (as I want to use the Orange 2 for 1 thing, and I've only just figured out the number one is supposed to text to get that: 241. Oh, no u, and no relation of 1471. I see).

And hands up if anyone else thought two of the characters were called Elmer [as in Fudd]? Alma indeed.


PS. The internet is a mediocre thing. /Discuss.
PPS. Seeing OTT AOL ads would help make sense of the thing above.
PPPS. Google's started doing cinema listings as standard search results, so entering Brokeback Mountain brings up the times it's on in Leicester Square. Funky, if a bit localised (but I'm sure I could change the search area)
PPPPS. Brokeback Mountain apparently stars the leader of the UUP.

"So people get brains which colour in words, whereas mine makes them up as I go along"

Imagine those unfortunate people whos brains dont colour in words. Or make any up. Must be quite a "__________" world.
Good point.

But I've just reread (or more likely just read) that post, and do seem to be doing quite well on forgetting to include words, forgetting to finish words or writing something that's similar ("would" for "wonder"). The "so" was meant to be a "Some", but I don't suppose it matters.

Yep, I did just spell that "righting".

I have a whole suite of quirks to enliven language, be it the thing which bars me from being Bond (my incredible slowness at coding, so forming representations of letters and sounds takes stupid amount of time, even though to me that's just how long it takes), my curious linking between sounds and characters (which means b/p/d, ct/ck/k/g, a/e/i tend to get heard the same, so unfamiliar words, especially names, come out a bit skewed. Although my brother's the one who thought one puts cloth over a carrot's cage to make it be quiet) which might also link in with the problems I have distinguishing speech from any background noise (and so only buying one cinema ticket when I asked for two, or being served two drinks when I asked for a tall one. I could blame the person on the other end not listening, but then I'm the one who can't work out what they say when they're confirming it. This might explain why people think I'm a skinflint [and where does that word come from?], as I'll rarely be seen buying drinks in a pub or club and any I do have well be made to last all evening. I'm not cheap [well, I am, and I also thoroughly disapprove of rounds, as if I'm going up people invariably decide to switch from cheapest drink available to doubles or shots, which oddly always cost more. Either it's coincidence or they're trying to reclaim incidental drinks they've bought me, but they don't seem to figure out that if they make it painfully expensive as well as difficult (hear names of drinks, put into my own words, remember with quantities, regurgitate in right order at bar, not be able to hear that the barmaid thinks a gin and Guinness is a bit of a odd choice, and do I really want 3 and half pints of it? Be unable understand that the Guinness is out, and unable to make a decision over alternatives, offer completely the wrong money, show my lack of coordination in attempting to carry it back from the bar and return to the table with three-quarters of the drinks bought which aren't what was asked for) and acutely embarrassing, then I'm going to minimise how often it happens. I opt out completely], I'm just not very good at getting drinks (and also invariably get ignored in any retail space, be it bars or shop counters) and I can't stand not being good at anything.

Add in the joy of getting things back out again (such as the meaningless string of probable sounds for something unfamiliar), where I add a second layer of indecisiveness over the sound order and spelling. Words and language can be a problem. And having someone spell it out only makes it worse as my brain is still trying to pull letters out of the phonetic morass, and if someone helpful is chucking in a few more at random, and doing it so fast I wouldn't have be able to get past the first 3 letters (I have to distinguish the sound, convert that into a visible letter, which I then have to add to the previous letters, repeat this for several steps, then save along with the original sounds of the word and connections between them. It might explain why I learn words [in any language] better when I've seen it written).

So the word Bacchanalian would probably come out like Backeneighlian or something worse if guessed at from the sound and Bacccahan if taken from someone spelling it too fast. So if they spell it while I'm still fruitmachining the syllables (and it is like that: BAH x, BAK x, BAC /, -KEN x, -KAN x..., or maybe something a bit more like base pairing in DNA; the stuff which doesn't fit gets bumped out again [and yes I make use of the wobble position]) then you can see that it might not come out too well.

Oh yeah, I'm also pretty poor at remembering stuff, especially meaningless strings of symbols such as letters in an unfamiliar word or numbers in a phone number or readouts from a display (strangely 3.14 gets treated the same whether it's a digital display reading "3.14" or a needle hovering slightly less than midway between 3.1 and 3.2. Both are equally as likely to become "1 point 3 4" or "point 3 4 1" although most of the time the last digital is right. For this reason, I tend to read out the last two digits, and hope the recorder can make sense of them. So even and predictable things, which don't go into an unnecessary level of detail, are best, and noisy signals tend to get unintentionally added noise. Thank god for USB interfaces).

It's easier to remember if I can (and have time) to break it down into units, so batches of 3 numbers [er, mobile number carefully removed after I just used it as an example. Basically it's 07, 3 numbers, 3 numbers, 3 numbers] or into syllables. It also helps if there's a rhythm to it or some tonal pattern. I can remember the intervals but not necessary the constituents. Which is how I can know a friend's PIN even though I was facing the other way. Once I know the first sound's corresponding number, the beeps give away the rest. And touchtone phones and ATMs constantly reinforce the scale, so I know that the tone I heard first was a 3, so... I think it's the same part of my brain working that allowed me to pick up the upper part of Heart and Soul purely from hearing it and trying initial notes until I got it right (which then gets quite awkward when I have to admit I don't know anymore than I heard, and have no idea how to do the chords which make the lower part of the scale. And are common descriptions of tones semi-synaesthetic? Why is a note low? It's not down there, it just sounds, er, big and deep. Or does it just mean our language isn't developed enough to describe music without having to call on words which describe something else).

Words I can never get right first time: live/life, beleif/beleive (which has added i-before-e fun), embarassed, equivalent (because I assume it comes from "equal"), most in/en- words (and yes, I did have to use spellcheck to do this section).

I create false dichotomies, like hah-rus and ha-rass, and then get very confused when I can only spell one of them.

I discover they're not so false in the case of en/on-vel-lope and en-vel-lup.

But unfortunately, I like words. I like learning new things, new meanings, new wasy fo using them.

I'm now wondering if one gets synaesthete dyslexics. But I'd guess being able to put letters and sounds into a different system word kill off half my coding problems. A couple of quick [and half-arsed] literature searches for both terms doesn't bring up much - mostly developmental neurology (infantile brains have multi-modal perception, so sound triggers parts of the brain which handle visual signals. For most people this interelatedness is rapidly lost. Synaesthetes retain communication. Dyslexia comes many forms and most are loss [or perpetual non-existance] or misdirection of signals or signal pathways). But synaesthesia [even with American spelling] doesn't bring up as much as I'd expect. Probably because it's only a variation in how some people think, so doesn't get much funding.

All this probably ought to be a seperate post, but it's too disorganised [another impact of dyslexia], too rambling and going into too much unnecessary detail [blame dyslexia], and I really ought to get up properly now as I was only writing the while my razor charged (and it's charged, and poor time management [and recognition of time and timing] is another dyslexic trait).

I've only just connected synaesthesia with aesthetic (which I learnt to spell fairly early on after having a teacher correct my work with some completely nonsensical word, deduct marks because it was nonsensical, and then tell me off for making up words when I argued that there was such a word and my spelling wasn't far off it. That's almost as bad as French teachers not knowing any word connected to sailing beyond bateau and faire de la voile and not being able to comprehend that "row" does not always mean an argument. And have you ever tried to explaining a gybe [bloody MS Word Autocorrects gybing to gibing, and the stupid thing doesn't even recognise "autocorrect"] to a French French teacher [yes, that's meant to be repeated you lousy piece of software] who isn't all that knowledgeable and got very confused by the concept that a word could have two distinct spellings [gybe and jibe]. But then she called her daughter, born in England, living in England and who was to be raised in England, Benedict. Which was actually in my dictionary, and described as "A newly married man". Well done, for giving your daughter a male name which also provides endless minty jokes as well as sounding like "dick" or variants on it. Connaissez-vous la psychothérapie?).

And I'd forgotten the bonus ball image. Drat.
Ahh, discounted sugary treats from Sainsbury's. Mmm.

ps - find this sentence very amusing, "I nearly fell asleep as Heath Ledger pounds frantically away at Jake Gyllenhall's filets of topside." :)
LD: I'm still working my way through the cookies I got as well (although they're raisin and oatmeal, so more a sugar-amble).

Well, I do try to be amusing, even if the bits people laugh aren't the ones they're meant to. And because I realised the comic potential of dozing off during a highly dramatic scene which is showing something which might still be considered to be contentious. The idea that a graphically illustrated film about a male homosexual relationship could be made with major studio funding, be sent out through normal distribution systems, be responded to positively by the press, be nominated for umpteen awards, be classified as a 15, be showing in every Odeon across the country, be watched as a mainstream film, and be a good film, which just happens to be about homosexual people, well, to me it's surprising, yet I know it shouldn't be. I think it's just the discovery that things, people, society changes which surprises me (I am aware that the change is hardly universal, but there are other factors to take into account). I know that it always has, but despite the weight of previous examples, egocentricity leads people (or maybe just me) into believing it is static - basically, that was then, this is now.

And the use of "filets of topside" was because I wasn't sure how to describe that set of muscles, and not having my aged anatomy book with me, I can't check. Anyway, up a bit from the buttocks, but not yet the lower back. And because pounding is already too much of a cliché to be compounded with arse/buttocks (and because it alludes to tenderising, which in effect the process was).

This message was brought to you by the word verification letters: upbop.
I never realised (or would have guessed) you were Dyslexic. Or (after Googling) that there were so many types.

Your posts are very intellectual (not that Dyselxics arent - i hope im not digging a hole) and you -[i was going to say "-are verbose" because i thought it meant having a large vocabulary, and a compliment, but after a quick and good-job-i-did check on Google wont]-have a very large vocabulary.

The tonal thing you mentioned triggered a recollection of a type of Synaesthesia involving sounds and what we associate different notes sounds with. Infact in the documentary one of the researchers mentioned something similar to your why is a note low? He asked why we would say someones shirt is "loud" (assuming we would, and that persons shirt was a bright (i actually wrote "loud" before replacing it with bright! colour). It may be because of how our language (or any infact) has evolved from cave-man grunts and the like apparently, (i would explain more but i cant really remember!)

And (completely [well not actually] unrelated) i really want to see BBM, just to see what all the hype is about. Especially as ive not heard anything bad about it at all. However a trip to the cinema on my own doesnt really sound very appealing, i severly doubt any of my friends will want to go. And after you've mentioned this "filets of topside" scene in combination with the El Mar incident, there is no way im going to go with any relatives.
Unknown dyslexic: that's because oddly writing offers me the best chance to hide it.

Verbose I don't mind, but intellectual? I'm now wondering if you class anything bewildering as intellectual, on the basis that it must be if you don't yet understand it.

As I saw that Horizon when it was on originally, I'm sure I ought to be able to explain the impact of evolution of language on the use of language, but it was a while ago, it's late, I'm tired, and I still can't feel my feet.

BBM: Well find a girl and tell her it's got good looking naked men in it. You probably won't need to add much more (and it's only a 15).

It is a very good film, and one which I've suddenly found myself thinking about and reacting to over the past couple of days. I think longevity in the mind of the consumer is probably a fairly good indicator of quality; you can watch rubbish and forget it before it finishes, you can read something good and remember it years later and halfway round the world, you can see a superb play and know the words forever. Years haven't passed, but days have, and it's still there, frustrating, upsetting, worrying, consoling me. It did make me feel very lonely though (or maybe just aggregate a whole bundle of feelings, like a twist on those endless ghastly adverts, this time for Depression Consolidation). But then I have been a bit more active in trying to counter this.

Oh hell, it's making me want to cry again (it never actually has, but it's the feeling I get beforehand, like when one is about to sneeze).

And as for doing something on your own; why limit yourself to what those around you want to do?
You don't like compliments do you? So modest. :P

Aww dont be sad *hug*. Maybe i dont want to see it is stressful and my lovelife non-existant enough as it is without reminders.
i really must see the movie already..
Az: I just wasn't sure what to class "intellectual" as. And no, compliments are not really me.

Anyway, I will not let you use me as an excuse not to see Brokeback Mountain. Think like the cunning one (hello Guile, welcome, and your link appears to be a bit 404ish).
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