Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Weird Things I Say #3

"Sort of pinkish-avocado"
This is a quick one. Above is the phrase I use to describe my skin tone. It comes from an advert for a soft drink featuring John Cleese.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Weird Things I Say, And Why I Say Them: #2

"Birch bark and charcoal."
This was something my A-Level Physics teacher used to say when describing how we could hand in our course work, to express that he was format-friendly. Almost every lesson, when handing out homework, he'd say something like, "It can be typed or handwritten, on floppy disk, paper, or birch bark and charcoal." (This was before e-mail had really hit the mainstream.)

That physics teacher has since died, I heard, and I find I'm struggling to remember his name. I recall his face quite distinctly, and his determined opinion that "birch bark and charcoal" was definitely the funniest thing that any teacher could say. So in his memory I roll it out occasionally when I want to say that something is deeply, deeply outdated.

EDIT: Lambert!  Mr Lambert.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Weird Things I Say, and Why I Say Them (#1 in a series)

"Everything is NORMAL. You will not SUSPECT me."
There was a period when I got reasonably into reading ReBoot fan fiction. I was much more interested, though, in the critiques presented by a fan named Hanako. This introduced me to the concepts like the Self-Insert, the God Mode Sue, and many other fanfiction tropes, both specific to the ReBoot mythos, and common to any fandom. I'm reasonably sure it gave me some early direction on how not to write. It also introduced me to the notion of MSTing.

I was unaware of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 at the time, but nonetheless I was thoroughly engaged by the mechanic of fictional entities commentating on and responding to the occasionally-coherent ramblings of amateur authors. There was an ongoing Mystery Reboot Theater 4000 series, which had Bob transplanted directly to the Satellite of Love and Megabyte joining the Mads, but the above quote comes from one published by Hanako and sidekick Claire, featuring themselves.

The original fic was a parody/swipe of Sleepy Hollow. ReBoot's "Games" make it easy to literally drop in references to other properties wholesale, but I'm pretty sure this was set in one of the real virtual worlds, a mysterious old system somewhere during Enzo and AndrAIa's game-hopping journeys. The travellers were welcomed into the town by an innkeeper who was very keen to stress that nothing was amiss. The line at the top of the page was the MSTers underscoring this. It is all I remember about the story, and it has stayed with me about 15 years so far.

Hanako's site is not around any more, which frustrates me as more than a few of the weird things I say came from there, but despite the total obscurity of the reference it still seems to work. Possibly people think I am being witty.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Movie Poster Overanalysis, #1 in a series

At one time in my life I was reasonably plugged in on the subject of upcoming movies, but that kind of fell by the wayside for one reason or another. For a while now my main source of movie news has been the adverts on the side of buses.

So here is what I know about The Hundred Foot Journey:

The bus advert did not have either tagline.
  • Helen Mirren is in it
  • She has staff, but they are both chefs, so maybe there is a restaurant involved
  • The staff maybe make out?
  • Typeface and static layout suggest romantic comedy
  • Helen Mirren is more important than this
  • I guess somebody travels a hundred feet over the course of the movie, probably right near the end because something is preventing them from walking from one place to the other, maybe pride? And the thing they find there is ... Love?
  • None of that is important, we have HELEN MIRREN in our movie, shut up

Apparently the full poster has more people on it, and some landmarks that suggest a journey between Paris and India, but that is more than a hundred feet? Clearly none of that is important, though, because HELEN MIRREN.