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*Yawn*, *stretch*, GIP

I've been having a pretty lazy, undemanding weekend - much needed after the last month and a half of zipping around the place and being intensively driven and intellectual all the time. I slept in till midday today and yesterday, and have been spending most of my waking hours lying on the sofa in my dressing-gown, drinking coffee, reading the internet and watching the snooker (which is throwing up a lot of surprises this year - but mainly nice ones as far as I'm concerned).

The only thing I can be said to have 'achieved' this weekend is to make the attached icon, which took me through quite a steep learning-curve with Adobe ImageReady (it's only the second animated icon I have ever made), but which I am now really proud of and very slightly in love with. I believe I have tipped over in this last week from thinking that True Blood is a pretty cool show which I'm careful never to miss an episode of, into full-blown squeeing fandom of the type which causes one to join fan communities (trueblood_lj seems to be the main one round these parts) and conceive crushes on regular characters.

lefaym made an excellent post a few weeks ago pointing out some of the many things which True Blood is getting right - well-realised characters; complex situations without simple solutions; and prominent black, female, queer and working-class characters whose lives and experiences are taken seriously and explored without the suggestion that they should somehow be ashamed or self-loathing about their under-privileged identities. I can't really improve upon lefaym's analysis, but I will also add that another big draw for me is the dialogue. It's sometimes very powerful, it does a brilliant job at revealing character and pushing on the plot without ever feeling forced, but most of all it regularly manages to be crackingly laugh-out-loud funny. There are a few quotations here, but TBH they don't really work out of context. They work because they all fit so well in the mouths of the characters they come out of, and in the structure of the scenes where they occur - and that is precisely why this is such a good show and so satisfying to watch.

Anyway, I did manage to get myself up off the sofa and dressed and over to Manchester yesterday evening for glitzfrau and biascut's house-warming party. It was lovely to see them all set up and bright and cosy in there. I last saw the house on their first day in it, when it was mainly all boxes and make-shift furniture, but they have already made a massive difference to it in only two months, and it feels properly like their own glorious domain now. Filling it up with bright, interesting people and food and wine last night was the icing on the cake, really - as a house-warming should be.

It was also nice to discover that the trains between Leeds and Manchester really do mean that I can breeze out of the house on a summer evening with nothing but a little money and my house-keys in my pocket, sail over the Pennines in fading sunshine, spend a decent evening with fine people on the north edge of the city centre, and still be back safely curled up in my own bed by 1 in the morning. I've not really tried doing that before, but it opens up new social opportunities now that I know how easy it is.

Now it's about time I watched my recording of last night's Doctor Who so that I can find out what everyone's posts and comments about River Song's identity and Amy's developing character actually mean. Oh, it's a hard life...

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 25th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
You're quite near Sheffield too! We should meet up some time :-)
Apr. 25th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, though I haven't really ventured down there since moving North - only sailed through it on my way to Birmingham, I'm afraid! Still, I should certainly check it out some time.
Apr. 25th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Ah, the lovely trans-Pennine express. Leeds to York is equally easy. It makes nights out in Leeds a doddle for me. The only thing to you have to worry about is the long gap between the 01:20 and the 02:55.

I once wanted to get back from Sheffield after 23:00. Impossible!
Apr. 25th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yup, it's definitely a Very Good Thing, and obviously heavily used, too.
Apr. 25th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Lazy, undemanding weekends are definitely necessary sometimes! And very nice :)

It's great you have public transport that's handy and makes an evening out easy.
Apr. 25th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's pretty good to head off to a city that's an hour away and know I can get home any time I feel like it. It basically runs all night, though it does get less frequent in the very smallest of the small hours.
Apr. 25th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
I watched the first couple of eps of True Blood and then tailed off, for some reason. But I've just read the first eight books in the last couple of weeks, having got them from The Book People for a tenner, and now I'm thinking I must get back into the show.
Apr. 25th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
It took me a while to really get to grips with it. I liked the characterisation very early on, but was expecting an 'adventure of the week' format, and it took me a while to readjust my expectations when I found that that wasn't the structure being used. After that, I spent quite a long time mainly just liking the atmosphere of the show and not worrying too much about the plot. But I think what has really hit me finally is the extent to which characterisation and plot are utterly inter-twined. Now I'm entranced, and am definitely going to have to get the DVDs and re-watch it all from the beginning with closer attention.

Do you reckon the books are worth reading? From lefaym's description it sounded as though they were good for plot and characterisation, but not as well-written as the TV series is slickly-produced - so it left me feeling that I might as well just stick with the TV series, really. Any thoughts on that?
Apr. 25th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
I really like the theme tune and the credits, I've just remembered, heh!

If you're looking for shortish easy-to-read fantasy books, they're quite fun, but from what I know the TV series is much higher quality. They do have good characterisation and plots and general atmosphere, I think. I always avoided them because I thought they were too vamp romance-y, but they're actually not too bad.

(Spooky - I'm transferring files over to my external hard drive and just spotted the first six eps sitting on it. I think that's a sign...)
Apr. 25th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'll probably leave the books in that case. I'm too slow a reader to have time for stuff that's only 'not too bad'. ;-)

Enjoy those first six episodes, anyway!
Apr. 28th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
Sarah lent me series 1 to take to Whitby and I've now watched all of them and am addicted. It's great! Strangely I saw the first episode ages ago and didn't really take to it, but wouldn't miss one now.
Apr. 29th, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
Hehe - glad you're loving it! I think season 2 is even better than season 1, so you've got plenty more to look forward to. You're probably a bit late to catch up with it on TV - I think FX are showing episode 10 of 12 tomorrow night, and I would really advise against watching that without having seen the previous 9 episodes. But the whole thing will be out on DVD next month anyway (once they've finished broadcasting it on FX).

BTW, you probably missed this post because of Whitby preparations - but can I ask if you're still interested in coming round to mine next Thursday for the election all-nighter? There's still bed-space available for you if you want to come and crash out whenever you get too tired to carry on.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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