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That Week in Full

Well, it's been a busy week. On Monday I travelled up to Carlisle after being asked to go and help my folks put together a video entry for a TV show that would have them driving from Budapest to North-west Africa. Unfortunately they hadn't checked the rules fully, and weren't actually elegible (they had to be a single-sex team, not a mixed one), so I spent Tuesday putting together a pack of things we needed (kitchenware, computer games, books, printer, etc) before coming back.

Unfortunately this means that I missed Tuesday's radio meeting and, typically, no-one ever called me to find out where I was (I couldn't call - they had my number, and I don't think I had theirs) so I've no idea what's going on there. I plan instead to generate my own content anyway and they can have it if they want.

As usual, the world managed to turn on a small, random happenstance. I'd mentioned as an aside to a fellow journalism student that I was a goth, and she insisted on taking me to a nearby pub called Big Red. The name is actually important to me - An Angel character of mine is sometimes called Big Red (he's a Hellboy-alike), who is a partner in the Big Red Detective Agency.

It's a pretty good pub - prices were equivalent to the Rocket (the student bar), the music and jukebox were pretty cool and the food's alright too.

Anyway, it turned out that the pub was having some Halloweeen celebrations and I decided to get out and go. There were a couple of magic tricks and a (mostly naked) autopsy subject performing fire eating and that thing where she used metal clothing and a powertool to make streams of sparks.

After that was the band, Nemhain (and thanks to DeValmont for catching the name!). Unfortunately I can't really tell you much about them except that the singer had the most amazing unmoving, perfectly round boobs of the kind usually sported by porn stars and dolls. And I kinda had to look because there wasn't much else to it - the music wasn't really working, with the vocals being incredibly muddy and lost amongst everything else in the sound mix. They really should have checked that everything worked together, rather than individually...

I left after a few songs, as Saturday was an early start and I was kinda bored at that point.

On Saturday morning I decided to get up with Her and go into London. I'd read in the Guardian that the British Library was running an exhibit about Britain's (still ongoing) struggle for freedom, called Taking Liberties (amusingly, the same name as the book/film on the same subject).

It was a pretty good exhibit overall. You could take a wristband with a barcode on it at the entrance and use it to log in at terminals to vote on certain issues. At the end point a projector displayed the voting records. There wasn't any personal data taken, although I noticed that the terminals would say 'citizen XXX has logged in', which seemed somewhat 1984. Actually, that theme was pretty much everywhere - brutalist walls of broken concrete, large quotes and panels at the start saying things like 'in some countries you wouldn't be allowed to go to an exhibit like this'. The exhibit was impressive though, with the Magna Carta and other documents on display, and some interesting details about the fight for democratic rights. (And it was a fight - the whole 'mother of democracy' thing is self-aggrandising rubbish, with real rights for ordinary people having to be torn from the hands of royalty and peers).

The Guardian has a pretty good piece on it here by Henry Porter.

I also did a lot of shopping, to the pain of my bank account. It started with a £20 microphone for podcasting, an £18 book (bought from the exhibit called 'Flat Earth News', mentioned in Private Eye). It's very good so far, and it talks a lot in cold, hard numbers, about how the corporatisation has damaged journalism. It's not quite true - the idea of journalism being all about the truth-seeking isn't universal and came with the concept of Journalism as a professional job, but that in it's way is an improvement over what it has been (and sometimes still is).

Then I went to Camden Town, whcih is always a recipe for poverty. J came down on the weekend and did some shopping, buying herself a new, £200 leather jacket. It was pretty nice and that, combined with university making me feel young again, led me to...well, buying a new leather jacket. It's a cassock pattern, lambskin, and cost £300 - a lot on its own, but better than the £580 originally on the label. Plus it's damn comfy. That said, I'm still concerned that I shouldn't have spent that money, even though my birthday is coming up. That's just how I am - always second-guessing myself. Hell, when I told my parents about it, I said that I was still wandering round to see if I could find a better deal so that I could beat myself up over buying the first one I liked.

By the time I'd done all that and met Her for lunch before heading to the bius, it was already getting dark. I went home, made tea and chilled out with computer games.

I've finally caved in and bought Oblivion, as well as finally getting Jade Empire on my laptop. Jade Empire is a typical Bioware game set in a steampunk China and has it's usual advantages and disadvantages - decent plot, great graphics, but also pretty linear and with a limited morality mechanic. It is very much a stepping stone between Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, with a real-time combat system and some other small improvements making it into the latter.

Oblivion...is no Morrowind. Yes it's prettier and apparently has updated mechanics (lockpicking and improving people's disposition are now minigames), but it sfufers from a number of issues namely console-itis, no weather and (this is the biggest one) quite a boring setting. Gone are the volcanic wastes, the alien culture and silt striders and in their place are what seems to be a fairly standard Roman/medieval fantasy setting. I actually find it quite disappointingly bland even though I haven't played much more than an hour so far.

Sunday will involve both pissing around and some actual work. Probably.

EDIT: The News Quiz is very good this week. I also notice that it's episode 6 of series 66...Hmm...

And, for my feelings on the Brand thing, see this CiF column. It was pretty clear there was editorial failure, and I can understand if the guy who signed it off may have felt too intimidated to say no.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 2nd, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
You're thinking of Nemhain, I think. It's the description of Amber's tits that clued me to it.
Nov. 2nd, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Really? Damn, thanks for the catch on that. It looked like Remhain on the leaflet and that bugs me - Leaflets are supposed to be readable, but so many think that unreadable 'gothic' fonts liek Frankenstein are fine...honestly, it's an amzing lack of creativity...

I'm half-afraid to ask, but are her tits that well known? Some kind of legends in their own sake?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )