1. On Sunday I went to see Talladega Nights. It was not nearly as funny as the glorious Anchorman - the humour was much broader and more obvious. There were a few utterly fantastic lines though. Who doesn't "think of Jesus as a mischieeeeevious badger"? I know I do!
2. We went for a drink afterwards but poor Patsington was shattered and had to go home early. Please spare a thought for Patsington right now, because he is very tired and stressed and overworked. His new album is coming out in a few weeks and he is working himself up into a frenzy about it. But he shouldn't be, because it is fantastic! I think he is expecting an Andy-Millman-in-last-week's Extras scenario, minus the taunting David Bowie...
3. Harper Collins keeps sending me big boxes of books. This sounds good in theory, but the contents are often, shall we say, not to my tastes. Three words: Wayne Rooney Annual. Also lots of appalling new age "how to talk with ghosts via crystals" nonsense. However, on Friday there was a pleasant surprise: a box filled with a lot of decent non-fiction from Harper Perennial, including Robert Fisk's vast new book. There was also an initially unpreposessing box filled with an entire series of trashy fantasy/crime novels by someone called Kim Harrison. I picked one up just to sneer at it and found that while it was indeed very, very trashy, it was actually pretty entertaining. It was rather like I hoped the Anita Blake novels would be, until I tried the first one and discovered that it was so badly written I couldn't get through the first page. Also, unlike Anita Blake, it's not idiotically lurid and graphically violent. Hurrah for entertaining trash!
The most ridiculous thing about this Kim Harrison book, though, is the fact that the author is utterly incapable of writing dialogue for scenes of either romance or conflict. The regular dialogue is perfectly adequate, but in really dramatic scenes, it all goes insanely wrong and people taunt each other with lines like "go stuff a tomato, Nick Nicky!" It reminds me of Russell Brand saying that while of course he has no idea how to fight, when he's been in a potentially violent situation he's found himself using a sort of nonsensical fighting talk in a kind of tough Ray Winstone-esque voice: "do you want to dance round my garden, princess? Do you want to eat my fairycakes?"
Russell Brand's trash talk makes about as much sense as the dialogue in this book.
4. I saw Little Miss Sunshine on Friday, and absolutely loved it. The, um, grand finale made me laugh and cry at the same time. Which was messy.
5. Work is still kicking my arse, as is stressful life in general. Patsington and my dear chums are, as ever, a constant delight. What is not a delight is the bizarre voice used by my colleague at the next desk when on the phone. In real life she speaks perfectly normally and I like her a lot, but her phone voice is this bizarrely sugarly up-and-down voice that seriously makes my skin crawl. OH GOD SHE'S DOING IT AGAIN MAKE IT STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! STOP BEING SO FUCKING PERKY!
6. daegaer, barsine and I competed last night in a table quiz hosted by none other than slovobooks. Alas for us, it was a science fiction/fantasy themed quiz, subjects on which none of us are exactly experts (especially me and barsine). I sent out a desperate call for a fourth team-mate yesterday to no avail, so we competed as a trio. And oh, it was a far cry from barsine's and my gloating triumph in the children's literature table quiz last year. But luckily not every question was on the ostensible theme, and we actually got quite a fair number even of those that were, which allowed us to gloat just a little bit. I even had my usual bizarre "how the hell do I know the answer to this?" moment when I correctly answered a question on cricketing terms (perhaps all those years of reading boys' school stories paid off at last). We were robbed on the flotsam and jetsam question, though. Robbed, I tell you!
7. There was a two-for-one on Penguin Classics on Eason's on Sunday, so Patsington and I got a book each. He chose Machiavelli's The Prince, I chose Earnest Hornung's Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman. So, taking these choices as indicative of our personalities, we can deduce that Patsington wants to be a creepy power-crazed manipulator, and I want to be a gentleman (or woman) thief.
Now, back to work I go...