The Universe and Me

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Beneath the sheltering sky

Movie: Sahara. What a fun ride that was! Based on the Clive Cussler novel of the same name, although the author wasn’t so taken with some of the choices for the movie. A few years ago I took some lame internet quiz like: Which Hollywood Celebrity Should You Date? And the answer came out Matthew McConaughey. At the time I just about knew who he was, so I wasn’t leaping for joy. After seeing this movie, the quiz results make more sense. He stars as Dirk (not so gently) Pitt, a treasure hunter who can get himself out of any scrape he keeps getting himself in. Joined by trusty sidekick Al who can’t keep track of his hats, there’s a witty banter akin to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (“You wanna talk me through that again?”). Overall the action, fast pace and convenience of plot are closer to the James Bond movies. Soundtrack by someone very fond of 70s classic southern rock. A little out of place for Africa. Good to see Six Feet Under’s Alfred and his flare gun. And William Macy performing “the D.C. two-step.” The treasure hunting plot got a little lost in all the adventure, swashbuckling, and saving of the world but all that was so entertaining, I didn’t care.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bob Newhart rocks!

Movie: The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. I think I’ve been on that quest myself. I wouldn’t say this was a “wondrous adventure from which you will never be the same” but it was fun. Starring Noah Wylie as Flynn, a perpetual student with 22 degrees who’s told to get a real job and isn’t suspicious when a magical invitation to work at the Metropolitan Public Library arrives soon after. Styled similar to the Indiana Jones trilogy but far lesser in quality and special effects. I enjoyed it even though I’ve met some geeks in my time and Wylie is no geek. Some good quotes: “Don’t listen to the books if they tell you to set fires.” “We even read those accursed online blogs.” “I understand thorazine comes in vanilla now.” “If your league were to explode, I wouldn’t hear the sound for three days.” “I’ve been cahooted.” “Being a librarian is actually a pretty cool job.” Yes, it can be, except on the days when you want to puree your co-workers or hit them with a “high velocity pie of death.” Suddenly Bob Newhart is everywhere but he sure rocks! Who knew? Must be all that moo goo gai pan.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Hvað talarðu?


Beowulf... and you get eaten by some monster guys. I can't understand you at all. /// We Gardena in geardagum, þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon. (I have no idea.)

Friday, August 26, 2005

The worst kind of person I know

Movie: Monster-in-law. I didn’t fall asleep watching it. That’s one of the best things I can say. Entertaining and watchable, but severely lacking. Forgetting the fact that J-Lo can’t act, the script needed to be punchier. Jane Fonda is fine, but she needs a far better movie than this as a showcase. Wanda Sykes had some clever lines (“there’s one in there with the cast from Good Times too”) but should have had more. The boyfriend, well, I realise it wasn’t his movie, but he might as well have been invisible. The most difficult thing for me to understand was the class prejudice. Jane makes a point of several times mentioning that J-Lo works as a temp and is Latina. As if either thing makes her a lesser person. At least she had a job. And there was nothing about her bland character that even suggested any ethnicity. When the point is supposed to be that no woman would be good enough for Jane's precious son, it seemed unnecessary. And why the decision not to use Janis Joplin's version of "Tell Mama"?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Enter and please sign in

My internet gripe of the week (or lifetime) is that too many sites require registration. I start to avoid sites where I have to enter my user name and password every time I visit. I have to sign in to get on the internet. If I want to check my mail on the server to delete any spam, and I do, I have to sign in again. To post here on my blog, I have to sign in. To download music from the music service I pay for, I have to sign in. To listen to music I’ve already downloaded from this service in past months, I have to sign in for each song I play. The game Nation States seemed like a cool idea until I got sick of signing in every time I wanted to work on building my country. Now my people are being neglected! To use Yahoo messenger, I have to sign in. To pick up my Yahoo mail, I have to sign in. It seems half the articles at The Scotsman require registration. I have yet to want to read them that bad. There are message boards that require registration. To view the forum at my college alumni site, I had to register and then wait eight days for them to send me a confirmation e-mail. Once I could log in, it turns out there’s not much of anything there and I’m sorry I bothered. I’ll probably never visit again. Or if I do, it will be a year from now when I’ve completely forgotten what user name and password I used. I’ve been meaning to sign up for an account where my niece has her blog, so I can post on it, but can’t seem to force myself to do it. On the upside, the Tenderfoot CD “Without Gravity” arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Six Feet Under Season 4

Another marathon of Six Feet Under, this time the twelve episodes of Season 4. Still not for the squeamish. The highlights:

1. Falling Into Place.
Not for the first time, not for the last, Nate turns to Brenda, but it’s not the same and she has better luck with musician Joe from across the way. Angelica has a goofy feeling in her ear that’s driving her crazy and she’s driving Vanessa & Rico crazy. Cousin Michaela’s a bit creepy. Arthur’s alphabetizing those unclaimed cremains which will come in handy. “Love that Mapquest.” “Continuing the implementation of my master plan: to be forgotten when I’m gone and to be forgettable while I’m here.”

2. In Case of Rapture.
Arthur labels his food but even though his “name is clearly marked on the yogurt container” it doesn’t help. Keith joins the Safeguard Protection Agency with orders to diffuse the situation before it becomes a situation. Rico helps out Sophia and her daughter Nicole. Brenda decides to become an analyst. A Formica debate around the Persian table. The Shining, or Claire’s latest art project, invades the Fisher’s plumbing. The plumber really knows his plumbing. George receives a package of poo in the mail.

3. Parallel Play.
Claire has “bi-curious issues.” A poo gift basket arrives for George who admits he’s made a lot of enemies through the years because “geology is controversial.” Sophia’s leaking and weasels a few grand out of Rico crying lupus. Cue George Costanza: “Is it lupus?” Arthur’s happy that Mrs Ruth appears so happy. Though he’s harbouring feelings, he could never send her poo, and resigns. “More misanthrope than paranoid.” “I thought if we put a plan in place, we’ll be free to deviate.”

4. Can I Come Up Now.
The opening snuff it: the reason why PG Wodehouse’s umbrella club won’t work. More poo for George. “I’ll just resign myself to receiving excrement in the mail for the rest of my days.” Ruth feels sorry for George’s previously unmentioned son Kyle and sets up a meeting. Brenda’s feeling eggy. Lisa sends a message that the number three is not important. Sophia’s calling Rico all the time.

5. That’s my Dog.
Nate doesn’t fit in the bereavement group. Ruth decides to play matchmaker or meddle with Kyle and Becky. Sophia drops by the funeral home. There are “definitely some down sides to crack.” I didn’t like this episode as the carjacking was too violent for me, even though I was hoping Keith would appear and exact severe revenge. But the message that sometimes bad things just happen was important.

6. Terror Starts at Home.
George is concerned about the “slow murder of the middle class” and “American bloat.” Ruth’s big mouth strikes again. Thanks but no thanks for the neti pot. Looks like Brenda won’t be attending any more white sales. George is from Mars, Ruth is from someplace else entirely. Rico considers Sophia charity work? “The bereaved will freak out.” The ex with the mysteriously international accent “went from being in the present to being in the past without even realizing it.” Yup. “There’s a lot more insanity in the world than people realize.” Double yup.

7. The Dare.
Rico needs some guy friends. Choice between an annual fossil hunt or returning books to the library – it’s all go with George but Ruth’s about to dehydrate. A suspicious Vanessa follows Rico. “Please don’t minimize my severe depression.” “She’s all crumbly.” “I’m a lonely little petunia in an onion patch and all I do is cry all day.”

8. Coming & Going.
No opening snuff it? “You think death spared Los Angeles last night?” Nope. Ruth goes walkabout. Vanessa kicks Rico out. A quote filled episode. “Agnostics don’t usually go to church, that’s part of the appeal.” “I think you’ve forgotten part of your outfit, Anita.” “Were we supposed to dress 80s and nobody called?” “Marriage is not a gas station.” “If you were any more controlled, you’d be a sculpture.”

9. Grinding the Corn.
Sorry she asked. Ruth and Bettina go on the road to Mexico and try to avoid riding the porcelain bus. Blue Twister geeks. “I had no idea he has a whole society.” Billy subs at Claire’s school. Life is a series of accidents. “Just go find another one”? Nice philosophy there, George.

10. The Black Forest.
Jimmy is Claire’s “refrigerator magnet of the week.” I’m with Keith, $225 is too much for a vase. Ruth’s back, with conditions. Vanessa flaunts a date. George and Kyle bond. The Kimmels get wise. “The apocalypse will be over water.” “People are stupid: what a shock.” “I’m crawling my way to comfortable.”

11. Bomb Shelter.
George starts stockpiling in case of emergency. Walnut butter? I’ve never seen that at the grocery store, but then, I’ve never been looking for it. “Who wears earrings now anyway?” Mrs Chenowith has the unfortunate surgery. Someone’s gonna pay and it may be Keith. Barb and Hoyt Kimmel want the crematorium number so they can explain the “chunky ashes.” Nate confesses. Barb doesn’t approve of Maya being raised by Brenda.

12. Untitled.
“We could use a little more Bruce Willis attitude, Mister.” “I was like, adapt, dude!” “I made the bereaved vomit.” Rico asks to move back home but being on her own is good for Vanessa now. Roger needs a bodyguard and Keith can freelance. Billy is so deeply irrelevant. Creepy Michaela makes sure the Fishers find a certain picture and Nate confronts Hoyt who admits he had a thing with Lisa. When Barb hears, Hoyt goes bye bye. George flips. “There is no point, that’s the point.”

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A long way down

A few months ago I read the always entertaining author Nick Hornby’s latest novel, A Long Way Down. Although the subject matter is dark and should make for some depressing literature, he has a style of writing that made it thought-provoking and frequently funny. Four disparate lives are united one desperate night when they individually decide to jump off the same roof and meet each other. Each character tells his or her story in the colloquial first person, giving their views on life and the others. Here’s a passage that made me laugh out loud:

You should try and read stuff by people who’ve killed themselves! We started with Virginia Woolf, and I only read like two pages of this book about a lighthouse, but I read enough to know why she killed herself: She killed herself because she couldn’t make herself understood. You only have to read one sentence to see that. I sort of identify with her a bit, because I suffer from that sometimes, but her mistake was to go public with it. I mean, it was lucky in a way, because she left a sort of souvenir behind so that people like us could learn from her difficulties and that, but it was bad luck for her. And she had some bad luck, too, if you think about it, because in the olden days anyone could get a book published because there wasn’t so much competition. So you could march into a publisher’s office and go, you know, I want this published, and they’d go, Oh, OK, then. Whereas now they’d go, No, dear, go away, no one will understand you. Try Pilates or salsa dancing instead.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I kicked a boy

Blogcritics recently had a list of the most influential rock bands and I noticed no female fronted groups were on it. After a split second of wondering why, I realized the only group that could have made the list was Heart who probably didn’t due to fizzling into commercialism in the late 80s. To create a list of girl bands who have influenced me, I’ll have to add pop music, foreign bands and bands where both men and women share vocals. And that list would be:

  • Heart - The Wilson sisters and significant others. Zeppelin on estrogen.
  • Throwing Muses – Stepsisters Kristen Hersh and Tonya Donelly. Hersh is a musical genius. Scarily so.
  • The Sundays – Harriet Wheeler, her lovely smooth voice, and husband on guitar. I selfishly wish their children would hurry and grow up so they’d return to recording.
  • The Sugarcubes – Björk and her most successful band. And while discussing one Icelandic band, I’ll mention some others:
  • Unun – Heiða & the boys
  • Todmobile – Andrea G and her operatic voice
  • Kolrassa Krókríðandi (and its incarnations Bellatrix and Skandinavia) – Eliza G and her fiddle
  • Komboið – Ellen K’s combo. Her voice is similar to Wheeler’s and together they are probably the loveliest two in music. See also Borgardætur, Ellen’s jazz trio with Andrea and a third girl whose name I can never remember.
  • Stuðmenn – Ragga G sings lead on a third of the songs. Husky, powerful voice and I think she’s even older than me!
  • Jefferson Airplane – Grace Slick.
  • Fleetwood Mac – Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, complementing each other so well, with their boyfriends, husbands or other women’s husbands.
  • Blondie – Debbie Harrry. Huge influence on music since the late 70s.
  • B-52’s – Cindy & Kate. Phenomenal voices (and hair)
  • Manhattan Transfer – jazz quartet. Janis’s version of “Mystery” is one of my favourite songs ever.
  • Cowboy Junkies – Margo & Canucks. I used to call this “music for the comatose.” She has a whispery and seductive voice.
  • Gåte – Norwegian prog band who recorded their first EP when Gunnhild was only 13. If you’re a girl and want to be in a rock band and can’t sing like this, forget it. I suspect she is a valkyrie.
  • The Pretenders – Chrissie Hynde. I’ve never been a big fan of the band but her talent is undeniable.
  • The Roches – Three sisters in perfect harmony – on stage.
  • Eurythmics – Annie Lennox should be any singer’s heroine.
  • Abba – Mentioned for their influence on music.
  • 10,000 Maniacs – homegrown folk. I find Natalie’s solo work dull and repetitious without the band’s clever, zippy music.
  • Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – Marriage and motherhood took her too away from us. Hope her kids are as gifted as their parents.
  • Mamas & Papas – Michelle & Cass wailing. Not so much Michelle, but Mama Cass was one of the greatest voices in pop. Gone too soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Nursery crimes

Innovative author Jasper Fforde has started what appears to be a second series of books, this one based on characters in nursery rhymes. His newest book, The Big Over Easy, has some familiar names investigating the cause of Humpty Dumpty’s fall off the famous wall (not Pink Floyd’s.) I have three novels to read before I get to this one, but am looking forward to it as I’ve appreciated his literary parallel universe in the Thursday Next series. The use of the phrase “nursery crime” makes me, a Genesis fan from way back, wonder if he lifted the idea from their Nursery Cryme album which depicts a child’s croquet game gone amiss. Gabriel used to tell stories before the songs during their concerts. The story about the song “The Musical Box” was printed on the liner notes as:

While Henry Hamilton-Smythe minor (8) was playing croquet with Cynthia Jane De Blaise-William (9), sweet-smiling Cynthia raised her mallet high and gracefully removedHenry's head. Two weeks later, in Henry's nursery, she discovered his treasured musical box. Eagerly she opened it and as "Old King Cole" began to play a small spirit-figureappeared. Henry had returned - But not for long, for as he stood in the room his body began ageing rapidly, leaving a child's mind inside. A lifetime's desires surged through him. Unfortunately the attempt to persuade Cynthia Jane to fulfil his romantic desire led his nurse to the nursery to investigate the noise. Instinctively Nanny hurled the musical box at the bearded child, destroyed both.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Blogging style quiz

Your Blogging Type is Logical and Principled
You like to voice your well thought out opinions on your blog. And if someone doesn't like what you write, you really don't care! Serious and blunt, sometimes people take your blog the wrong way. But you're a true and loyal friend to those who truly get you.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Perhaps perhaps perhaps

Steve's cushion rant from the BBC series "Coupling," written by Steven Moffat :
Steve: What is this?
Susan: It's a cushion....
(to Jeff) Steve: You got any of these?
Jeff : No.
Steve: Of course you haven't...
(to the women) Steve: You bring these things into our homes. They sit on our chairs. They watch our televisions. Now, I just need to know, on behalf of all men everywhere, I just need to ask, please... What are they for? I mean, look at them! Look at the chubby little bastards! Just sitting around everywhere! What are they, pets for chairs? (to shop assistants) Come on, you sell them. What are they for?
Junior Shop Assistant: Well...
Senior Shop Assistant: You sit on them.
Steve: Ah! Ha ha ha! You see, that's where you're wrong! Nobody sits on them. Okay, watch this. Here's the cushion. I'm putting it on the sofa. Now watch me. I'm stting down. And what do I do on my final approach? I - oh! - move the cushion! You see? It's not involved! It's not part of the whole sitting process. It just lies there. It's fat litter! It's a sofa parasite!
Jane: It's, you know... padding.
Steve: Oh, padding! Now, that's interesting, Jane. See, I like padding. If I was, say, an American Football player, and all those big bastards running at me, I would say "give me some of that padding and be quick about it." If my job involved bouncing down jagged rocks I would say "in view of those jagged rocks down there, I'll have some of that padding, thank you very much." But Susan, Sally, Jane, this is a sofa. It is designed by clever scientists in such away as to shield the unprotected user from the risk of skin abrasions, serious head trauma, and, of course...(drops behind sofa, then sticks head out) Daleks. Trust me girls, trust me on this one: you do not need padding to tackle upholstery. So please - once and for all, tell me why on Earth you would want me to sit on one of these?
Susan: Because, if you pressed it firmly against your bottom, it might stop you talking!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Footloose on Will & Grace Posted by Picasa

Degrees of Bacon

My college roommate Nancy once bumped into and knocked over actress Angie Dickinson.

The Oracle says: Angie Dickinson has a Bacon number of 2.

Angie Dickinson was in The Last Producer with Benjamin Bratt. Benjamin Bratt was in The Woodsman with Kevin Bacon.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Kick off the Sunday shoes

Movie: The Wedding Date. Chick flick. I have only seen the sitcom Will & Grace a few times and have never understood the appeal of either Will or Grace as their characters seem selfish, self-obsessed, narcissistic and superficial. Something I noticed in this movie that I never noticed on the TV show is that Debra Messing is pretty. Must be Grace’s personality detracts from her looks. I wouldn’t say Messing has much to offer in the acting department, though. The film’s plot is escapist romance. In an effort to make the former fiancé who broke her heart jealous (or to try win him back, I wasn’t sure), Messing hires a male escort to her sister’s wedding in London which fiancé will attend. And of course she and the escort fall for each other in a reversed Pretty Woman way. The groom was played by Coupling’s Jack Davenport who I kept expecting to take off on a rant about the inanity of cushions which would have been much welcome. The movie also would have benefited from a cameo from Kevin Bacon, reprising his reprisal of his Footloose dance as he did on Will & Grace. Overall, the movie was painless if I didn’t think that it might be sending the message that women have no value without a man in their lives.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Something Completely Different

With a title like that, the post has to be about Monty Python. A few weeks ago during a movie drought, I watched the Holy Grail again. I don't know the last time I saw it. Many years ago. The first time I saw it was in the mid 1970s on the late late movie. Here's some quotes:
  • It is I, Arthur, King of the Britons.
  • And this is my trusty servant, Patsy.
  • Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
  • Bring out your dead!
  • I thought we were an autonomous collective.
  • Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
  • You can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just cause some watery tart threw a sword at you.
  • Come and see the violence inherent in the system.
  • I’m being repressed.
  • Sir Not Appearing in This Film.
  • Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
  • Go away or I shall taunt you a second time.
  • Run away, run away!
  • 5 is right out.
  • Suddenly the animator suffered a fatal heart attack.
  • There’s the old man from scene 24.
  • What is your name? What is your quest? What is your favourite colour? What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
  • You have to know these things when you’re king, you know.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Wipe out

Documentary: The Johnstown Flood. Carolyn brought this up in conversation one day. I forget why but I remembered John talking about it once because that’s where his family originated. I thought the flood was during my lifetime, so I was surprised to see it listed as 1889 on a Google search. Turns out the town has had several floods, the last big one being in 1977 (not a good year!) which is the one I was thinking of. This documentary concerned the 1889 flood which happened on May 31. After several days of rain, the water level of the lake reservoir rose and the neglected and already weakened and leaking South Fork Dam’s centre broke. The entire lake, 20 million tons of water, proceeded to plunge down the valley 404 feet below at 40 miles per hour, draining in less than an hour. Fourteen miles and several small villages later, the treetop high wall of water, which by then was full of debris (trains, rail tracks, houses, machinery, trees, animals, people), hit Johnstown. When the water and debris reached the Stone Bridge at the edge of town, it couldn’t pass through so it reversed and kept striking the town with a whirlpool effect. Four square miles were demolished in about half an hour. And then fires broke out. 2209 people were killed, 750 of whom could never be identified. There had been warnings about the dam, but it seems the people never thought it would truly break or underestimated how much water the lake held or thought their houses would be able to withstand anything. The night after the flood at least four women went into premature labour. Two of the babies were actually named Flood.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Your Ideal Relationship is Marriage
You've dated enough to know what you want.And that's marriage - with the right person.You're serious about settling down some time soon.Even if you haven't met the person you want to get hitched to!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Not a match, the board goes back

While I’m not looking to be matched up with anyone just now or possibly ever, I did find myself curious about the website All you have to do is enter your zip code and what approximate age you want your potential match to be and they’ll give you a lengthy list of possibilities in return. Simple enough. My problem with the potential matches is many of the names they chose to use. The worst I saw was “intonothing” which is quite the endorsement, isn’t it? Then there are the guys trying but failing to be clever: “canudiggit” “ohsogoodtou” “bendreamingofu” “deliver4you” “vacancy4two” and “goodthingsintime.” Right off we can rule out any guy who uses the word "normal" in his name. Must be no one told him normal means boring. And anyone who uses "exceptional". Ego problems ahead. Same with “markofquality” and “handsomebiker.” I’m too skeptical or jaded to believe “mrhonesty.” And creeped out by “wigglylove” “geronimo” “thumper” and “bigdaddy.” As for “golfpro”, if he really was one, I doubt he’d have trouble finding a date and I don’t think many women appreciate being golf widows. “Custodian” and “figgynurse” seem a little wimpy. The worst name I saw was “iwantparis.” Seriously! No girl will or should ever have to try to measure up to Miss Hilton or anyone.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Up and Down

Movie: Up and Down. Czech. From the director, Jan Hrebejk, who gave us the Holocaust epic Divided We Fall. This one’s a farcical commentary on present day Prague and the world. I found it quite funny in places. Chuckled a few times. Two incompetent pickpockets also fail at smuggling immigrants and end up stuck with a baby they bring back to their pawn shop where it’s adopted by a desperate wife of a dimwitted soccer hooligan. These characters end up linked to a separate story about a dysfunctional family reunion. “Deep fried bat.” Yum! Loved the tea with lemon. A nice deadpan, “I’m completely overcome.”

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Svona er sumarið 2005

Every summer Tónlist (or Skífan) compiles an album of what they consider the best or most popular Icelandic songs. This year’s disc includes 34 songs. They probably should have stopped at 24. My thoughts:

01 Þú færð bros - Sálin hans Jóns míns - The best my poor brain can translate this is as your happenin’ smile, which is probably woefully wrong. I’ve said it before but here it is again: Stefan is the man! His voice is sounding so good these days, he could sing the Icelandic phonebook and I’d listen. Sálin knows how to write and deliver good songs and they’ve done so consistently for many years.
02 Leyndarmál - Írarfár – Secrets. Birgitta’s band. She’s considered Iceland’s answer to Brittany Spears, but she does have a little more talent. Which may not be evident in this song.
03 Má ég sjá? - Skítamórall - There’s a bit of a punkish feel to this in its musically choppy verses that serves it well. In the accompanying video the guys appear a bit thuggish for being dressed in white suits.
04 Dans, dans, dans - Nylon - Girl band. Their harmonies aren’t bad but the disco music is.
05 Let love carry on - Svala - oh my ears! Would it sound cruel to suggest someone chuck this gal down the nearest volcano?
06 Vaknaðu - Í svörtum fötum - Wake up! Pretty boy Jónsi’s band. Just don’t let him sing in English and everything should be fine.
07 Stjörnuhrap - Kung fú - Star fall? Reasonable pop/rock band. Tónlist doesn’t carry much from them and I wish they would. Are they too new?
08 Aldrei liðið betur - Sálin hans Jóns míns - Never doing (living?) better? Has an Earth Wind & Fire jazzy horn section that’s rather zippy and I love the “yeah” up the scale that comes out “yeaheaheaheaheaheahea!” So cool! Hvað þarf ég meir?
09 Here for you - Myst - This shouldn’t be any good but for some inexplicable reason it is. Perhaps it is the girl’s slightly husky voice and heavy Icelandic accent.
10 Ég er hérna - Von - I am here. Good pop/rock song.
11 Sætari en ég - Bermuda - Sweeter than me – New band. Sort of a much more mainstream Unun without the decent guitar. The only song I’ve heard from them.
12 Hamingjusamur - Buff - Happy/Lucky – Never heard of these guys before. The chorus is catchy. Very summery, rocking out while driving in the car.
13 Ég er ekki sú - Igore - I am not you? Female rap. Make it stop! Even the beautiful Icelandic language can’t help.
14 1.000 sinnum - Kung fú
15 Ég vil ekkert - Ísfold - a slight step up from Írarfár.
16 Þráin - Oxford - Another pop/rock band. They’re starting to all sound the same. Not that there’s anything wrong with that when they sound like this.
17 Segðu já! (ásamt Hildi Völu) - Stuðmenn - All right I will, já! I don’t like Ragga giving up the microphone to anyone, especially an Icelandic Idol star. Lucky for Hildur there is nothing this band can do wrong in my opinion.
18 Rabbits - Papar - I hate this song. How is it the most requested?
19 Þú og ég - Á móti sól - You and me – They get criticized some for being too pop, but they’re okay by me. Duet with Birgitta Haukdal. Lyrics are incredibly lame.
20 Allur lurkum laminn - Bjarni Ara - And suddenly it’s 1940. This belongs in a Pink Panther movie. Bit of a “Fever” feel to it.
21 Starlight - Heiða – Not Unun’s Heiða. Not even close. Is she purposely channeling Madonna?
22 Chocolate - Hera – This gets my vote for one of the worst songs ever written. The lyrics are beyond insipid. “Chocolate feels like a really big kiss.” Ewwwwww!
23 Songbird - Hildur Vala – Surely Christine McVee didn’t endorse this!
24 Heaven help - Davíð Smári - Reminds me of some American song from the mid-70’s but I can’t think which one. A lesser Player?
25 Ljós - Regína Ósk - She has a powerful voice but I don’t like the style of music she’s chosen to showcase it. Pop crap.
26 The night of the demise of faith - Helgi Valur - What? “You were only sleeping with angels weeping…” Again I say, what?
27 Dansinn - Brimkló - Not a big fan. Actually this song isn’t that bad, kind of pleasant, but it’s too country for me.
28 Þú ein - Jón Sigurðsson - An Icelandic version of “Love Hurts” although that isn’t what the title translates to. Recently Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris performed this song on Letterman in the same style as it’s done here. As a soft love ballad. Which I doubt is was Nazareth ever intended seeing as they sung it with such angst and strained vocal chords so that you can nearly literally feel the pain involved. Edgy and in agony. Not sweet.
29 Eydís - Sniglabandið -Tres lame ellur hur?
30 Langar samt í þig - Dans á rósum
31 Sól og sumar - Sixties - Sun & summer in the city. Doesn’t get any better!
32 Ef ég gæti... Se potessi - Leone Tinganelli og Regína Ósk - If I can … and something Italian? Latino pop. Hrafnhildur thinks it sounds like “Guantanamera.”
33 Dúett í Dallas - Súellen and some guy who goes unnamed and should have done the song by himself. Another girl from the “I learned to sing by listening to Madonna” school which needs to be shut down. And then she starts in with Valley Girl voiceovers. Ugh!
34 Hún virkar ekki á mig - Spútnik – Back to the pop/rock.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Not being there

Movie: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. There’s no way to say this without sounding superficial: Geoffrey Rush is not attractive enough to play Peter Sellers. Not that Sellers was staggeringly handsome. But he had a certain cuteness that either magnified his innate charm or was a manifestation of that charm. Rush does a remarkable job with the mannerisms and voices of Sellers and especially of all the characters Sellers played so I hate to fault him for anything, especially when this movie was intended to be a venomous vilification to make us hate Sellers and succeeds at that. It fails in making Sellers endearing and lovable despite being abusive and obnoxious, which is how that type pf person can make friends to hurt and turn to enemies. He asserted he had no personality (“There used to be a me behind the mask, but I had it surgically removed”), but the problem may have been that he hated his real self (with cause, it seems) and tried to submerge it beneath his roles. Although his childhood wasn’t shown, what we see of his whacked-out mother leads me to think he didn’t stand a chance. He may have thought he needed to make people laugh to be liked and to like himself. He never seemed to apply to his personal life what we can only hope he finally understood with the making of “Being There.” That he didn’t need to be deliberately funny, using fake accents and pratfalls to win over people. Interesting radio was equated with “a circus of twits.” I heard no mention of his playing Quilty. Enjoyed Stephen Fry’s character. (“Green is the unluckiest colour in the spectrum.”) Poor Swedish accent there, Charlize.