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Mutterings, Musings and Moans (oh my!)

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[07 May 2010|10:59am]
[ mood | disappointed ]

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Noo Who [03 Apr 2010|08:37pm]
Wonderful, brilliant, marvellous, amazing, etc.

But.

The blown-glass time rotor in the new Tardis... is a butt plug.

No?
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[24 Jan 2010|04:06pm]
I worry that I've left it a little late to describe all of the highlights of my very exciting first global adventure, as it rapidly falls out of my memory, but here be a Picspam anyway!

...where Seventh Avenue meets Broadway.Collapse )
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[01 Nov 2009|12:50pm]
So, so glad I didn't pass up the opportunity to go and see John Barrowman in La Cage Aux Folles, as it turned out to be quite a special time, in increasing awesomeness;

We got a bat at the beach balls that we missed out on last time.

My Mother (of COURSE I took my Mother! She's a huge JB fan and would never have forgiven me if I didn't) caught one of the two roses he threw out.

It turned out to be the first anniversary of this version, they brought out a cake and made us all sing Happy Birthday which lead to some nice bits of improv from John.

And finally on the way out these two uberfans by us started talking to an older couple who they'd recognised as John's parents! I must admit I did turn around a add my two cents about letting him know just how Fabulous the show was. And yes, they do sound like Mike Myers parents in 'So I Married an Axe Murder' in real life too.


As for the show itself, it was exactly as I figured it'd be compared to the previous version we'd seen, which had an older, podgier cast that fit the story a little better. This was much more focused on the shrieking high-camp comedy, with all of the usual Barrowman ticks you've seen when he goes off on one, but with this character you can't really go too far. The sheer energy he brings is unbelievable, I never would've thought he could high-kick quite that high!

I know they're recasting this show every three months or so, I just hope there isn't anyone else I feel I NEED to see again quite so soon, its getting to be a bit of a habit.
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[03 Aug 2009|07:08pm]
Currently in the middle of watching Mamma Mia for the first time, and seeing as I've previously adored all of its female cast I don't know why it took me so long to do so.

Now, it seems very odd for me to to be saying this but, in spite of me loving all sort of cult movies, this is the weirdest film I've ever seen.

Theres something really... conversational about it. The way the bits of songs go alongside really weird outbursts and injokes amongst the characters. The way that not one single shot in the whole thing reminds me of the typical way you'd shoot a musical. The way that none of the dancing or set pieces make ANY SENSE AT ALL.

Usually when a film makes you feel at home with its characters it tends to be charming, or feels really written or too self-consciously witty. But this feels realistically boring and just as perplexing as listening in to a strangers conversation. I guess this is why its insanely popular amongst women of a certain age?

It feels more unconventional than anything thats self-consciously unconventional, and its hurting my brain with its existence.
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[06 Jul 2009|08:22pm]
I got my Girls Aloud make-up box Serious-Business-Singles-Flight-Case-Thingy in the post today, reminding me that I completely forgot to blog about going to see them on tour in the middle of May. My first proper concert, to my eternal shame (leaving it so late to go and see a band, not who I went to be, obvs yo.)

It was quite a while ago now so lets just say booties were bumped to the sounds of "Something Kind of Ooh", I did what I’m sure everyone at their first concert does and swear blindly that one of them waved at me once (they were flying back from their little trip to the other stage and Nadine was waving at our section, everyone else was far too cool and/or busy awkwardly dancing to reply in kind, I did, with a massive grin on my face so she must have seen me, right? I've been assured this counts.) and then whinged at the price of the, admittedly gorgeous, programme on the way out.

WHICH LEADS ME TO...

Me desperately wanting to go to more gigs now. I was going to go to Latitude (Patrick Wolf! Grace Jones! Pet Shop Boys!) which didn't end up happening, which is an especially big pisser now that I've read that Patrick is going to do a Grace Jones cover, and premiere a new song which he might submit for Eurovision...

I did get to partially see and mostly hear Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster at Godiva fest this weekend (for which I took a lovely picnic and broke in my new lined foldable carry-handled picnic blanket - best thing I've ever purchased, just need a Red Riding Hood basket now) and I was rather unexpectedly taken with that.

WHICH LEADS ME TO...

Me suddenly finding lots of new music to like. And, scariest of all, they're all being heavily promoted, which does usually take the shine off things a bit (not in an indie shmindie way, just that you tend to get a bit sick of them before you've even had a chance to get into them) - Florence and the Machine, Bat for Lashes (who I kind of liked before but Daniel really cemented it), La Roux, VV Brown (who still counts despite not doing that well, I think), Lady GaGa - the bargain bin Grace Jones - is managing to make me more enthralled as everyone starts to get really fed up of her, and Sophie Ellis Bextor is back and everything!
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[29 May 2009|04:08pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

I had my first proper independant (as in, non-parental) holiday recently. Hooray!

Its a bit tragic that it took so long, really. And it was "just" London for three days, but I planned it to within an inch of its life so there was maximum efficiency.

And it turns out you can actually be totally anal, with lots of google maps paperclipped into different days/events, and not totally suck all of the fun out of everything! I knew it!!

Oh and I relented on the tube issue. All the other times I've been to London I've insisted on walking everywhere, which was do-able on daytrips when theres only really one major thing to do, but was just going to sap precious time this trip. Plus, trekking from Euston to the 02? Even I'm not THAT cheap.

WARNING: TOURISTY TUBE-CLICHES AHEAD.

I don't know why I had such phobia of it. Well, of course I do, its a whole new alien thing to learn, and theres such a sense of forced urgency to the whole tube process, which is understandable once you get used to it, buts it's very intimidating to an outsider, so you don't really want to muck it up and get trampled by angry commuters. And the people working there were just as scary as I'd feared when we tried to ask them about how daypasses work. We figured it out on our own in the end, and I'd already pre-planned tube routes (I know!) so that bit wasn't an issue, but one poor guy next to us who was being very nice and unassuming in asking for help about how best to get somewhere got ripped a new one for no apparent reason. There weren't even any other people waiting behind him!

Luckily we only used it at peak times once or twice, and I know that if I had to do it everyday it'd be normal, but it was so jarring to see the way people cram themselves in. Not asking each other to move further in or anything, just silently shoving people into other people. So then you're all smooshed up against the person in front of you, trying to figure out exact where you're supposed to set your eye-level when you're practically inside them.

You know when you have one of those moments... when you're looking at, I dunno, a menu or something, and you start thinking about the evolution of society, all of the social conventions and shifts that take you from being a caveman through to the concept of menus, and forks. and clothes, and all the billions of "unnatural" thought processess we have to go through to be "normal". Its that kind of weird detachment from time I felt when I was being compacted into a fleshy mass inside a speeding metal box, underground.

Not that I'm complaining though. Now I'm au fait with it I love it, but I'm glad that I don't have to use it everyday.

-

You know what this post needs? Actual relevant content!

Many many adventures included;


La Cage Aux Folles

We ended up seeing THREE shows while we were there, its quickly becoming a passion, and in a way it was a shame this came first because it blew everything else away. I only knew the story from having seen The Birdcage and the original French film, so maybe the fact that I hadn't already played the songs to death before hand was a contributing factor. But even then, having only heard the songs once, they were firmly lodged in my head for days aferwards. And not just because they were catchy, though they are, but because I genuinley loved them immediatly.

I guess what I mean is that if I'd have known more about it beforehand, like I have done with Wicked, Jery Springer: The Opera, Rocky Horror et al, I'd have loved it and wanted to see it with the same passion, but to have this love thrust upon me... I can't get the wording right here. You know what I mean? To see it live and for that to be the first time AND to immediatly love it?

What else was nice was that it was an interactive show in an intimate theatre. We were only three rows from the front caberet tables that the Cagettes dance on at various points, plus we were next to the side doors which get a lot of use. At one point a Cagette snuck through and was making freaky bird noises in our faces. Awesome!

Oh, the best thing! Which sounds a bit soppy but, it was a gay love story, and it was so nice to see something up there on the stage thats, vaguely, representative. Especially the bits with them wanting to express their feelings outside, and having to do subtle bits of hand-holding on the sly.

I'm never going to get on to anything else today, I feel like I could write about it forever. The beyond impressive dancing of the Cagettes. The jokes. The songs. The costumes! The maid!

I think it might be my new favourite show. I'm all aflutter!


Hairspray

I already knew that I loved this to death, so theres not much to say other than praise for Michael Ball. I've seen him in interviews go on and on about how much he loves this show and you could tell every second he was on stage. There was a fab bit of ad-libbing at the end of "Timeless to Me" that I guess must have built bit by bit during his run. It just got ruder and ruder, and by the end of it he was cracking up, and I love that kind of thing. It makes it special, its not just them going through the motions for the 600th time.

We had a stand-in Tracy, which was a shame as I was looking forward to seeing Leanne Jones, and this girl had quite a different voice than I'd imagine Tracy having. She wasn't squeaky at all, a bit more like a Pink Lady from Grease (well, not the squeaky-voiced one, obviously), but it was nice seeing a slightly different take on her.


Woman in Black

For my sins this is the only thing I've seen at the theatre that wasn't a musical. It was quite nice to see an old-fashioned ghost story, and its a great reminder of the power of simple story telling that all you need is two actors and a few props to draw you in.

Oh, and a woman in a fright mask popping up every now and then to make people squeal and then do that post-scare laughing for longer than is strictly tolerable... but i'm a product of far too many horror movies so it didn't do that much for me on the jump-scare side of things. Apart from that bit with the torch... *shudders*


Body Worlds

I think I might start sounding like an advert when I talk about how enriching and education this is.

The awareness something like this brings on, when you think you can feel your own blood coursing away, flexing your knee and picturing the cartilidge, that sort of thing, its as rewarding as you'd imagine anyway. Found it utterly fascinating once I got over the social awkardness thats inevitable when you realise that you're staring at a dead baby.

Also, (spoilers) they have a giraffe. A full sized giraffe, minus its skin, and with various cut-away sections. It had a massive bumhole.


Other stuff

Camden market!

General London Shopping! Regent st/ Oxford st, Selfridges, Hamleys, Harrods - which had the cutest puppy in the word running around its pet section, I got to pet it briefly and near became an instant dog-convert, Uniqlo (which really, really needs to come to Brum)

Natural History museum and V&A's theatre collection.

CYBERCANDY. CYBERCANDY. CYBERCANDY.

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CONDENSATION [12 May 2009|05:26pm]
A couple of months before Christmas I realised that I'd nearly had the Sally Lockhart books a full year without having read them, so I did. Which kick-started me on a book-binge thats still going strong, and many books later I got around to Northern Lights, and am now just starting Subtle Knife, and I have to say...

Phillip Pullman is obsessed with condensation!

Every other window in the Lockhart books was streaming with water. And I recall a few choice bits from Dark Materials (so far) too.

Thats it.

...

Oh, well actually, heres another thought. How in the hell did they make a Hollywood Movie out of Northern Lights? I can't imagine that any of the best bits, or actual plot, are in it. Is the bear palace covered in rotting meat and poop at least? I don't know why that bit stood out to me so much, in a book filled with child murder.
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[17 Apr 2009|01:58pm]
[ mood | impressed ]

Extremely late to the party here but I just finished watching the first season of 30 Rock, which is so good that I can't believe the world hasn't been knocked out of orbit from the sheer force of a billion people screaming "THIS TELEVISION SHOW IS A VERY GOOD TELEVISION SHOW IT IS OF SUPERIOR QUALITY TO ALL OTHER TELEVISION SHOWS"

I've had the first season DVDs sat around for months now, ever since I found them for pennies, but never got around to them until I had the whole of Easter to fill.

And it wasn't that I didn't think it'd be any good, obviously I'd seen it hyped enough to decide to buy it, but I wasn't at all prepared for it to be this good. For some reason I was expecting an Ally McBeal-style mixture of weird aside gags, work stuff (replace Court Cases with Teevee Programmes), maybe a bit of shmaltzy romance-woe soundtracked to terrible acoustic music in there too.

Where on Earth I got that from I don't know. Perhaps because it had that rival in Studio 60, which I saw a bit of on Channel Five (and I stress the tinyness of that "bit") which seemed more like that. Also Jane Krakowski was in both. Actually, it probably was just because Jane Krakowski was in it. Assumptions, ass, made out of.

So instead I find out that its fast, funny, ridiculous, cute, satirical, and bizarrely obsessed with racism. All of which, combined with the adorkable Tina Fey, make for the crackiest crack ever to hit DVD. I couldn't ever watch just one.

I'm far too late to say much else that hasn't already been said, so I'll just complain that I have to wait until next month for Season 2 to be out.

Although, I can't moan about it that much as i've just started watching United States of Tara as a replacement and I could rave about that for a whole other post. Especially as it features that rarest of characters, the non-angsty non-closeted gay teenager! Its always a big deal for me when this happens, as I get very upset that gay kids, generally, don't get to have the first awkward and/or hilarious first kiss/date stage that other kids do during high school, that theres no gradual exploration of their sexuality, going from no experience whatsoever to proper Scary Adult Sex in one go. Ugly Betty should take note and drop the bizarre "don't ask don't tell" policy on Justin. Down with this sort of thing! Gay rights for gays! Etc.

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WOAH-OHOHOH-NO [07 Mar 2009|12:38pm]
[ mood | cold ]

THURSDAY

I'd been expecting this version of Little Shop of Horrors to be a little crazier, given the presence of master gurner Sylvester McCoy, but it turned out to be a whole heap crazier.

ONE - It was a much smaller theatre than I'd anticipated, so even at four rows from the front everything was very, very close, so you're gonna feel things a lot more. Well, feel is a weird word. but you know what I mean.

TWO - The dentist was played by professional psycho Alex Ferns, a.k.a Trevor the Little-Mo-bothering wife beater from Eastenders. As you might guess he rather suited the role of a Sadistic gas-addicted dentist, and had a lot of very icky improvs like licking a freshly extracted tooth and rubbing his bare, flabby, stomach on Seymour's head (!!)

THREE - Sylvester McCoy being exactly as you'd expect. His hilarious attempt at a Jewish/American/Eastern European accent just being his normal accent a little bit higher, and the occasional sort of "oyyy" emphasis on words at the end of sentences. But I wouldn't have had it any other way.

FOUR - The Greek Chorus (Chiffon, Crystal, Ronnette) putting the Fierce in, uhm, Ultra-Fierce.

FIVE - The whole thing. Bit of a cop out putting this as one point really, but from the performances, to the amount of fresh little twists, improvs, and prop-gags they put into it, the whole thing was ramped up to the tits, Rocky Horror style. I never would have though that the previous version I'd seen was "restrained", given that its a black comedy about killer alien plants, but it really was. Perhaps I'm just forgetting, but I don't remember that version having comedy slo-mo fighting during "Skid Row" involving someone having a box put on their head and being repeatedly punched in said head-box, nor someone using their baby as a weapon to bludgeon a tramp.

SIX - Not so much with the crazy, but there were a few Doctor Who alumni in the cast alongside the obvious. Marvin Foon from Kylie Christmas was the voice of Audrey II! One of the greek chorus girls was in the first episode of Torchwood! And the bumbling British Sargent from 'Delta and the bannermen' played, amongst other things, a tramp.



FRIDAY

WATCHMEN: The Movie Film Motion Picture.

Not much to say other than, as than - as the kind of fan of the comic book that is so over-the-top in my appreciation as to make it completely over-hyped and thus nothing but underwhelming for people who read it to see what all the fuss is about - I loved it. Mostly.

Its pretty much just a fun picture book for Watchmen fans, with an changed ending EggMcGuffin that I don't mind in theory (the EggMcGuffin in the book being a little far-fetched for audiences, I guess) but that I don't actually like in execution, as it robs it of all depicted bloodshed, and doesn't feel like it really "happened".

Non-fans won't have a clue, I suspect, and it won't have anywhere near the "OMG! Serious comic books exist??" impact that Dark Knight had, and it'll just fade away in time. But, to be selfish, I don't really care, as I'll happily lap up the three and a half hour version with Tales of the Black Freighter edited back in, and squee in my pants.


SATURDAY

Dollhouse. Still watching. Still finding things to like about it (generally just the bits when it feels a bit like Gattaca, with the music) and scrunching up my face when it turns out that ALL MEN ARE EVIL AND WANT TO RAPE WOMEN, OR AT THE VERY LEAST CALL THEM BITCHES. Again.

The premise for this show is so open-ended. New character, new engagement every week. So why does it always feel the same?

Also, given the aforementioned Powerful Men Don't Like Women thing, why are they happy to spend millions on a female agent? Wouldn't said misogynists believe men would do a better job?

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[23 Feb 2009|06:43pm]
I can't stop watching Robert Webb's Flashdance performance.

And I also can't stop thinking, what a fantastic Frank N Furter he'd make;

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Twitter-esque [16 Feb 2009|05:22pm]
First freshly-cut grass smell of the year!
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[14 Feb 2009|11:23am]
[ mood | mellow ]

Thank you, terrible local newspaper!

I normally throw you straight into the recycling, but if you hadn't have been idly flicked through yesterday I would never have known that Sylvester McCoy would be hanging out about thirty minutes walk from my house next month.

Not in a homeless way, he's here to star as as Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors!

Claire Buckfield as Audrey again, but she was great so I don't mind.


And not that I only post about Doctor Who related things anymore (COUGH), but the Who Exhibition is in the Transport Museum here for a few months too, starting late March. So maybe they'll wangle another Doctor to come an open it, and that'll make three doctors I've seen in the flesh without having to put in any more effort than popping down town!

Maybe Coventry is on a rift or something. LAMEJOKE.

-

Oh! I might post about something other than Who in a while, once I've seen Dollhouse. I'm dreading it somewhat... I don't like post-Serenity Whedonesque-fuelled Whedon :(

-

And I hope everyone gets their desired fill of and/or total avoidance of Valentines Crap! We're making cards, because apparently you can never be too twee.

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I NEED THIS PAINTING! [04 Feb 2009|04:55pm]


"An oil painting of Barack Obama and his unicorn Penelope offering positive affirmations to Ugly Betty."


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ugly-Betty-TV-Nude-Obama-Unicorn-Affirmation-Art-Lacey_W0QQitemZ250364446281QQcmdZViewItemQQptZArt_Paintings?hash=item250364446281&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1683|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318#ebayphotohosting
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Ooh-wee-ooh [30 Jan 2009|12:46pm]
!!!Collapse )
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[24 Jan 2009|10:30am]
I hadn't ever heard of Tonner dolls before, which isn't that surprising as I'm staunchly an action-figure kind of guy (save for my Ken-doll Superman and Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein) but after hearing that they've gotten the licence to do Doctor Who stuff i've been having a nose about on their website.

Think very, very deluxe Barbies.

The likenesses aren't always great, but the detailing is astounding, so I'm quite excited to see if they've got just the new series or classics planned too. Imagine the Sixth doctor!

Their Wizard to Oz stuff is to die for too... (gayest. statement. ever)

Just to illustrate the point, a notmypicsspam.Collapse )
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[21 Jan 2009|07:49pm]
So bit by bit Spotify is taking over everyone. Have you all had at least a couple of "OH MY GOD ITS THAT SONG I FORGOT EXISTED SINCE I WAS TWELVE OH MY OH MY" moments yet?

Alun was poking around it the other day, Lord knows what he was searching for, but he started playing something, I guess he saw the artist, didn't recognise the name and thought he'd see what it was. I jump up... its so familiar, what IS this song.

OH MY GOD.

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!

SPICE INVADERS!

Its what I now realise was a b-side to "Spice up Your Life" and is the most bizarre b-side i've ever heard. Its just the Spice Girls saying... stuff.

"This song is full of valid information.
Information like, never wee with your knickers on.


Its genuinely really funny. Especially the bit when Geri reels off this huge speech and then Mel C undercuts her with "did you just read that in a book?" "Yeah."

So, now that everyone has access you've no excuse for never having heard it. And I will never have a miserable day again - anytime I'm feeling blue on it goes.


P.s. The ability to share playlists really easily? Going to be abused by me so badly. Expect musical spam.
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[10 Jan 2009|01:00pm]
[ mood | cold ]

TATTOO-WATCH

Well, in a fit of pique last night I decided that if I were to go for the signature idea I could collect a host of my inspirations autographs on my arm - making it look like a cool plaster cast! And and... I'd have a blog charting my progress and get tips from people as to where I can best ambush my next target.

This morning this seems... slightly insane? Also I'd never be able to get, for example, Kate Bush, or David Lynch.

A similar idea, and a much easier one, is to do similar but with a collage of images. Sort of like a tattoo charm bracelet.

DAD MUSIC

I got a few CDs for my Father this Christmas, ones that he's got LPs of but never updated, so the first 2 Led Zeps, Blodwyn Pig, a best of Billy Fury and one of Jethro Tull, and also something newer; "Raising Sand" the duet album between Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.

This, from "Raising Sand" really stuck out when he was playing it, and I'm now going through all 6 albums, which I ripped before giving to him as I suspected this might happen.



And it reminded me of this, which i've loved for a long time but never remember exists until I dig out Cher Gold;

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[09 Jan 2009|01:51pm]
Unexpected Favourites

Despite all of the amazing TV that was on around Christmas, is coming back soon, or i've gotten on DVD the most exciting thing for me at the moment is... Lark Rise to Candleford. Its highly predictable, and as twee as you can get, but I adore it. Even the Sex and the City/Heroes-esque narration doesn't get on my wick.

Its happened with games too. I've got a glut of highly-customisable games (my favourite type) at the moment; Little Big Planet, Spore, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Boom Blox. But the one I can't stop playing is Saints Row 2.

I've been having a ridiculous amount of fun playing as my Queens-latino-accented Transgendered (M2F) character. In a very thin boob tube, Butch dyke pink & blonde hair, one giant hoop earring, tiny pink hot pants, and flip-flops, taking part in a fantastic sandbox crime game (GTA4 is so dull in comparison) with the mini-games i've ever played; spraying a city with a septic tank! Streaking! Riding around in a flame-retardant suit on fire on a quad bike! And i've now unlocked the ability to have Eliza Dushku's stoner-chick come ride with me whenever I want, which is all you need from a game really.

Rather More Expected Favourites

My John Waters appreciation hit critical mass recently. I got Polyester, Pecker and his book Crackpot for Christmas, and in a very short space of time I'd feasted on them all, commentaries included, ordered his other book Shock Value, and finished that in double time too. I also managed to track down the Diane Linkletter short online, and downloaded Multiple Maniacs! Obsessed isn't the word. Ever since kicking things into gear with Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble last year i've finally gotten as up to speed as I should have been, seeing as gradually over the years (over all of my years) he's seeped into my life without me realising it.

Seeing as my only hope of seeing Hag in a Black Leather Jacket and Roman Candles is to go to one of his art shows in New York, i've always wanted to go to New York anyway, and Baltimore is only about 180 miles away from there, I'm giving serious thought to stalking him, getting him to sign my arm, and getting it as a tattoo. WHICH... isn't as crazy as it sounds as i've been racking my brain for a while now as to what would make my perfect 25th birthday tattoo in a year and a half.

Oh, thats an official goal by the way. I'm celebrating a quarter of a century on this planet with something on my left forearm. I've flitted between something Patrick Wolf/Kate Bush/lycany-wolfy-and-or-hounds-of-love/Old Englishy, possibly something geeky/gamery, a big old can of Ultra Clutch hairspray, or David Lochery & Mink Stoles Red & Blue haired villains from Pink Flamingos (possibly a simple version with just the red hair and pointy glasses of mink, and the blue hair and moustache of david)
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The Eleventh Doctor [03 Jan 2009|11:40am]
[ mood | shocked ]



Shame it leaked before the announcement tonight, but... wow! And I certainly didn't expect a woman whose been dead for 24 years to be the assistant. Major props to the casting people.

And no, I shouldn't be allowed near photoshop.

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