Thursday, July 28, 2005

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a busman.

I'm supposed to be on a two week holiday, you know. And yet some of that holiday was spent over at Ashurst doing some data inputting. Not all of it, just some hours over some days; and yes, I did need the money (damn Abbey National and their overdrawing penalties), but... but it's a holiday dammit!

I wanted to do some more writing. Did I? No.

I wanted to watch Wonderfalls, The L Word and Alias. Did I? Until NTL finally sorted out the cable last week, no.

I wanted to relax. Could I? Not really.

I wanted to go to the pictures? Did I? Well, yes (The Island, War of the Worlds, and so on). So that's something.

I wanted to write to my parents. So that's something else.

I wanted to see what KS found so great about Power Rangers Dino Thunder.

I wanted to apologise to Top Dogg about the yen thing (he doesn't live in Hong Kong). So that's something else done.

I wanted to read the next Harry Potter book. Wait a minute - no I didn't. (Sorry, Jen.)

I wanted to apologise for no Cindy Spot this week or last week (next week, I swear). So I have.

And I wanted to track down alt.gossip.celebrities' CliffB and Doug Abbott and... well, have you seen Se7en? You have? Oh good. You have an idea. Only not so restrained.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Editorial comment on the below

My friend Top Dogg, who sadly never seems to pass on his wisdom in the comments section - although he's more than welcome to - supplied his two yen (he writes from Hong Kong), and to prove that I can take it as well as dish it out, and with his permission, here it is:

I'm sorry to say but I have officially lost all respect for you.

After reading your report on what happened at the red carpet of the F4 premiere I couldn't help but do so.

I mean, she's a girl. Okay, she is freaking hot but getting so worked up and at the same time sink so low on the scale of human behaviour? Tststs. I've always pitied those mindless, screaming fans at red carpets. Grown up men acting like little girls? It's a shame. For what? An autograph? For inhaling the air she just breathed out? For touching her arm for the briefest of a millisecond?* It is a goddamn shame.

A 15 year old girl screaming for Robbie during Take That times was more man than you.

Wait ... even a 14 year old girl screaming for Gary Barlow (?) during Take That times was more man than you.

Wait again ... even a 13 year old girl screaming for Mark Owen (?) during Take That times was more man than you.

I hope that at least your pants are dry again.


*According to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, touching a woman on the arm for the briefest of the millisecond, especially when she does not even feel it, does not equal full on sex on 99,9% of all known worlds, including the earth.

And that's the way it is, Sunday July 24th.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Special Fantastic Four UK Premiere Snakes and Ladders

Snake: Getting to Leicester Square not quite early enough to beat the crowds.

Ladder: Still getting there in time to get a good view.

Snake: Getting wet when it decided to rain. Twice. And guess who didn't have an umbrella.

Ladder: It didn't last all that long.

Snake: Being asked to shout exultantly into the camera when it panned down my side of the crowd

Ladder: Being asked to do so by a crew from E! (better them than crappy late-night ITV magazine Entertainment Now!).

Snake: Deafening rap music being pumped out.

Ladder: One of the raps was "Fight For Your Right (To Party)."

Snake: Realising that I actually willingly chose to be in the same place as Piers Morgan. And Kelly Osbourne. And some non-entity from Big Brother. And two of the people from TRL.

Ladder: And Sophie Anderton.

Snake: The absence of one of the movie's main stars.

Ladder: It was Julian McMahon.

Snake: Risking hearing loss from girls screaming for Chris Evans.

Ladder: Joining the guys screaming "JESSICA!!! JESSICA!!!" when she was across the way from us talking to the TV folks. (Unsurprisingly a lot of us were waiting for her.)

Snake: Not actually getting to talk in any substantial way to her.

Ultimate Ladder: Not only having my copy of Arena signed by She With The Most Unfuckingbelievably Strokable Skin I Have Ever Seen In My Life, but also sacrificing any remaining dignity by deciding "Screw it, I'm never going to get another chance, I blew it with Cindy Crawford and I won't do it here" - and giving her left arm a light touch. So light she probably didn't even notice... but a touch nonetheless.

The ring finger on my right hand is now officially sacred.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Playing the walking-away music...

Joe Harnell died this week.

You may not know who he is, but if you ever watched The Incredible Hulk you'll have heard him - he it was who wrote the powerful main theme, the underscores, and also played the wistful piano music that ended each episode as David Banner headed off to a new place in search of a cure. So memorable was it that it's been featured on Family Guy and singled out during BBC2's I Love The '70s; go on, just try and block it out if you remember it.

He also did the original V miniseries and other works for TV (like the pilot for Alien Nation, though not the series), but it's the Lonely Man theme that fans'll remember him for. I was pretty sorry to hear of his leaving; another one for the passing parade.

1924-2005. Visit for more information.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Week In Review

Sorry about the snakes and ladders bit; call it a collaborative effort between me and Butch...

Snake: Having to wait until 6:40 for the 232 bus and having to dash through this.

Ladder: Off on two weeks' vacation next week, so no need to worry about that.

Snake: Still no cable, dammit.

Ladder: Jessica Alba and her significantly less sexy comrades in town on plug duty for Fantastic Four next week. Including the premiere. Is that the sound of me getting ready to go to Leicester Square? Also due to be on TRL...

Snake: ...but see previous snake. (PLEASE don't let her be on Monday's show; NTL's coming on Tuesday!)

Ladder: The themes for Desperate Housewives, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Stargate Atlantis and Justice League Unlimited up for Emmys.

Snake: Lost bit of scene I was working on with Hilary Duff in a field.

Ladder: Reconstruction, reconstruction, reconstruction...

Snake: Time to work.

Ladder: Holidays and Jessica!

Bonus ladder: Cindy sighting in Chile...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Cindy Spot: "The Secret Of My Success"

From the late Suzy Parker in the '60s (The Twilight Zone's"Number 12 Looks Just Like You") to Gisele Bundchen in the Taxi remake, it's hard to name a supermodel (or a famous model, not always the same thing) who hasn't appeared in a fictional context by the light of cathode tube or projector ray. And Cindy Crawford's been no exception; though Fair Game was her official and much-maligned movie debut (more of that next week), this wasn't the first time she was on screen. For that, we need to turn the clock back to 1987.

The Secret Of My Success was another example of how good Michael J. Fox is at comedy (or should that be was, as his sad illness meant he's had to put the acting on the backburner), it put Helen Slater in a tolerable movie after Supergirl, and it made a lot of money for Universal, but that's not what matters here. What matters is the opening credits; as Night Ranger perform the title song while we cut between our hero's parents, a montage of New York City sights and his settling in to his new digs, we see four models strutting outside. In a quick-cut, each one in turn turns her head to the side, you hit the freeze-frame at just the right moment and...

YES! There she is. The third girl of the four is none other than the then 20-year-old Cynthia Ann Crawford, mole and all... and best of all, she appeared in a movie better than ones she was asked to appear and actually have dialogue in (like Beverly Hills Cop II).

It's also better than Bodyguards. More of THAT next week as well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

On a lighter note; Jessica Inc.?

While I don't fill this up with my NC-17/18-certificate rantings as much as the man who lives on Drury Lane does, from time to time it can't be held back. This is not one of those times, but it IS time for a bit of musing.

It might be time to introduce Jessica Marie Alba into the Hall of Fame. She's not likely to be up for any Oscars or Golden Bears any time soon (if ever), but the possibility of her earning a warm place in male devotions (yes, okay Jen, and some female ones) for years to come should not be ruled out; she's been barraged with critical complaints acting-wise for both Dark Angel and Honey as well as Fantastic Four (though in all three cases not universally), and if they didn't stop her then it's unlikely to help now. Of course, being sinfully sexy helps. (As well as being quite engaging in interviews, suggesting that if she isn't constantly sweetness, she is nonetheless quite likeable.)

She also has all the accoutrements - the eye-burning when someone says "Actually I don't fancy her"; the unwillingness to read further reviews; the picture-pasting... it's all there. That, coupled with not as much of Cindy around as I'd like, has had me wondering if Jessica might not be the one to claim the #1 spot... I really hope not. But letting her into that small clique of women who rank higher than the others? For sure.

My little sister accused me of liking Jennifer Beals - I deny it to this day. But Rosanna Arquette? Paula Abdul? Mariah Carey? Cindy? And yes, Jessica? Yep, HoF-ers all.

I smell a list...

Enough with the terminology already.

There's some kind of determination to get what happened in London last week dubbed 7/7.

7/7. Another bid to try and tie this in with the World Trade Center attacks (and the attempt to bomb the Pentagon, let's not forget), and an unjustified one.

Leaving aside the fact that attempts to get people to call it 11/9 as opposed to 9/11 are doomed to failure - and completely fucking pointless, as well as the ultimate in thoughtless pedantry - the London bombings are closer both geographically and in terms of circumstance to the Madrid attacks of March last year. But did you find anyone determined to call them "3/11" (or "11/3," as it were)? And what about the Bali attack? No one calls that 10/12 or 12/10, do they?

And yet they still drag out the whole "Oh it's just another bombing, we're the most resilient and greatest people in the entire world, we'll bounce back, we won't let them get us etc etc" line. You can't have it both ways, you know.

It's hard not to think that some people are trying to force a connection beyond the (possible) motives for the attacks; and it sickens me that even after an appalling thing like this, some folks are still trying to turn it into a race with the US. Give it a fucking rest, or people will start thinking London deserves things like this, just as folks thought New York deserved what happened. Except, of course, that we in London never deserve such stuff. We never do. It's always someone else, right?

It's not just the US that's insular, remember.

Friday, July 08, 2005

What a difference a few hours makes.

Yesterday, I was wishing that they would give all the shouting and triumphalism about the games a rest. Today I got my wish. Just not in the way I wanted.

I work up in North London, and leave for work very early, so I was well out of the danger zone; but it's still not something you want to think about, because you still know that the danger's there. True, as one talk radio host said, it could have been far worse (witness the Bali bombings, the Madrid attacks and the September 11 horror), but it could also have been far better... like not happening at all.

I don't like London, but I don't hate the place this much. Not at all. I'm just thankful that Sharon isn't here now, and that my family and friends in general are okay. (And if Jennifer, KS and Evil from CSSA are reading this, thanks to you guys in particular. At the risk of sounding corny, thank you for being friends.)

I hope they get the things responsible (people who do stuff like this aren't "people").

Thursday, July 07, 2005

One more list, or How I voted on That Place.

MuffinMan commented on his, so it's only fair I do mine. Complete with my actual comments.

1. Cindy Crawford, even though she'll unquestionably be absent from the final roll like last year. (I was wrong; she was joint 93rd with Jules Asner, Sofia Coppola, Claire Danes, Aree Davis, Jennifer Esposito, Lauren Frost, Jessica Harp, Renee Olstead, Winona Ryder and Kari Wuhrer.)

2. Jessica Alba, as if there was a doubt. (Jessica did in fact have the top spot.)

3. Hilary Duff. Even if she did have her first real flop with Raise Your Voice. (And now a second, with The Perfect Man. Raise Your Voice was originally due to have a UK cinema release but it wound up going straight to DVD; let's hope UIP treats this one a bit kinder. Hilary came 26th.)

4. Laetitia Casta. I nearly gave this spot to the one below. (Laetitia was the only one of my picks to completely miss the list.)

5. Gwen Stefani. She would unquestionably have been higher, but I can't bring myself to consign some of the above to below. (Miss B-A-N-A-N-A-S came in 10th.)

6. Monica Bellucci. Yum. (Monica and her astonishing ass landed in 32nd place.)

7. Jennifer Garner. Would have been #6 if Ben Affleck hadn't put his dick in her and left a souvenir. (Which didn't prevent her coming in 4th.)

8. Jessica Biel. Purrrrrrrrrrrrr.... (The second sexiest Jessica arrived 12th.)

9. Britney Spears. (Some of us still love her. Enough for her to come 27th.)

10. Rose McGowan. All right, I give in - she is hotter than HMC. But Holly is still the core of Charmed. (Rose and her astonishing ass hit 17th.)

See? Much better than FHM.


That's .2012 seconds. The amount of time which elapsed between the announcement and my being totally sick of hearing about it. A new record; not even the new Doctor Who and Live 8 annoyed me as quickly.

But fear not, there are upsides.

1. I now have an impetus to spend the summer of that year - or rather the weeks the games are taking place - in the US. I've always wanted to visit New York...

2. I now have an even greater reason to never, ever read the Evening Standard again (when they called the Wal-Mart heir who died a couple of weeks ago an "Asda" family member I finally lost any shreds of patience I had with said rag).

3. If I had heard the news on Capital 95.8 (the city's main local radio station), I would have taken a hammer to the radio, and then gone down to Leicester Square and beaten the announcer to death.

4. John Williams might write more music for NBC's coverage that year if we're lucky.

5. We'll never have to go through this again. Or at least not for a very, very long time.

The Cindy Spot: Those Pepsi ads. (Well, four of them.)

Cindy once said "Commercial is not a bad word to me."And face it, it's only fair - models are supposed to sell you things, to ship you fantasies; that's what they're there for. Which is why throughout her career Cindy has never been too shy about promoting goods both at home and abroad; it might seem mercenary to some, but it certainly beats saying you don't do ads and then going around doing ads. Not to mention refusing to do commericals at home and doing them overseas, like in Japan for instance...

The full list of services the moled one has endorsed could fill a book; some successfully (Cindy has maintained a long and happy relationship with Omega), a few not so successfully (Kellogg's Special K was a rare misstep). One of her most successful corporate tie-ins has been with Pepsi, of course; I'd be very surprised if my good friend Top Dogg hasn't seen that one with the two little boys, but here's a shocker for him, MuffinMan, KMB, Butch, Jen and all the rest.

I didn't like it.

Not because of the presence of "Just One Look," not because of the way the Pepsi logo had been redesigned to resemble the latter-day New World Pictures one, and certainly not because of Cindy Crawford in denim shorts. No, it was because we were supposed to find it cute and funny that those little boys were drooling over the Pepsi can (yes, I know about the "can" reference, thanks) when frickin' Cindy Crawford was standing right in front of them. Not Michael Crawford, not Broderick Crawford, but CINDY CRAWFORD, dammit; it annoyed me in 1992 and it annoys me now. If the boys had been gay and knew it it would be one thing, but... (It helped a bit to find out that in real life the boys were going "Yo Cindy! Yo babe!" all the time.)

If it hadn't been for the above, the science experiment one - where Cindy is deprived of Pepsi for a period of time and ends up turning into Rodney Dangerfield (R.I.P.) - would be my least favourite. But it does come a pretty close second. Maybe it's because if these ads are using fantasy women they ought to be treated as such instead of getting all winking and send-upping on us (is "send-upping" a word? If it isn't, it is now). Although then again, there is a limit in some cases.

Cindy ain't one of them, though.

Much more fun: the one where scientists are looking at Pepsi drops through a microscope and see a guy relaxing in the garden with Cindy walking behind him pushing a lawnmower and cuddling him. And the one where a little newborn baby called Norman Feeney becomes a lifelong Pepsi drinker after Cindy, Bridget Hall and Tyra Banks of America's Next Top Model infamy visit him in maternity. That could work. And then, of course, there was the remake of that ad in 2002.

The two boys still irritated me, but this time Cindy had her own children with her waiting in the car (Presley and Kaia have also been with Cindy in print ads for EAS). Like the lady said, some things never change and some things do; blessedly, her being a dream in denim shorts is one of the former. Who the hell are you, Kate Moss?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Somebody stop him.

In my position as a man with no life whatsoever, I have to get irritated over little things from my constant problems with ntl (thank you so much for screwing up again this week, people) to a London 2012 Olympics bid that could only be less subtle and more obnoxious by having Bob Geldof make a film in which he shouts "Give us the fockin' Olympics!"

Speaking of irritations, going searching for a way to get the point across to celebrity erotica writer Andrew Troy Keller that he... um... he... well, Jennifer's reaction on reading some of his work sums it up ("Dear God. And again: DEAR GOD!")... I found more proof of his tireless activity, no suggestion whatsoever that the man is capable of accepting criticism (who does he think he is, one of the Wachowski Brothers?), and a fansite.

A fansite.

An ironic fansite, it would appear, but a fansite nonetheless.


Friday, July 01, 2005

Snakes and ladders

Snake: In his latest speech to the USA the Emperor exploits 9/11 to make political capital for the umpteenth time since September 12, 2001.

Ladder: In accordance with other summer repeats, this gets a low Nielsen rating (career-low is it? Join me in laughing).

Snake: Serena Williams' uglier, less talented brother knocks Maria Sharapova out of Wimbledon and ends my slight interest in the event (i.e. in the player(s) I most want to sleep with).

Ladder: It doesn't make Maria any less hot.

Snake: NTL insists on charging me for the boxes I do not have connected, and which they still haven't picked up.

Ladder: They're crediting me for the difference.

Snake: My cable box and VCR have been infected with the mentalities of George W. Bush and Queen Victoria and keep sabotaging this season of The L Word (tape ran out with the first two episodes, and the sound cut out for almost all of the third). Why couldn't it have done that during Revelations?

Ladder: It didn't play up during Confessions of a Dangerous Mind this morning on Sky Movies. (Any movie with Drew Barrymore and Maggie Gyllenhaal is worth watching - well, there was Riding in Cars with Boys - although a) the strangely sexy Maggie is only in it for about three minutes and b) Jen will certainly argue the point in the case of Drew. Good book as well.)

Snake: Pissing down with rain all this week (and yet it's still hot).

Ladder: Only two weeks to go before my holiday.

Snake: Jennifer Garner. Why, Jen? Why?!?

Ladder: Kaley Cuoco joining Charmed and Jessica Alba in Arena.

Snake: More of a workload now that the owner's son has merged his company with this one.

Ladder: Hey, it's Friday...