Alright, I’m done brooding.
What I read
I haven’t read a book in ages. I still buy them, though not as often as before, but they sit on my shelves unread. I canceled my subscription to NRC Next because I no longer have a commute, at least not one long enough to read anything, my tram ride lasts about five minutes. The only magazine I currently subscribe to is The Word, formerly known as Word. I never read them when they arrive, but I keep them for when I travel or when I finally get tired of the internet. Is it me, or is Word slowly becoming more like Q magazine? It doesn’t seem as decidedly different from the mainstream music mags as it used to do. Over the Christmas holiday I did spend some time reading an issue on the couch and promptly fell asleep. At work, I try to start the day reading our own newspaper, DAG, but there’s usually some other pressing matter concerning our tv guide to attend to.
What I watched
I watch so many tv shows I hardly ever get round to films. But as my favourite shows are either on strike or suspended over the Christmas break, I caught up on some films. I checked the Times Online’s 100 best films of 2007 and picked The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, For Your Consideration, Bridge to Terabithia and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. All of which I enjoyed to varying degrees, but none of them blew me away as much as my favourite film of the year, Babel, which I would have liked to see again. It’s on my iPod, lacking essential subtitles. I watch quite a bit of video on my iPod in bed, over the last couple of weeks I have been falling asleep watching entire seasons of Battlestar Galactica. (Gaeta is so the fifth remaining Cylon.)
I wish I’d seen all of The History Boys on the BBC, I had planned on watching it, but forgot and only caught the second half. I liked it, but half expected the boys to break into song, it had that kind of stagey rhythm to it. Talking about singing… When Joseph met Maria was a lot less engaging than Lord Webber’s actual competition was and it just reminded me that the blandest candidates won. Bland… yeah, I’ve never liked Tom Hanks much and he didn’t do anything to impress me in the awful The Terminal, which I also managed to see half of.
I also caught Catherine Tate’s Christmas show – and was a little taken aback by her ‘Northern Irish Christmas’ sketch, but George Michael made up for it with his scarily effective Shane McGowan impresssion. I also saw the Extras Christmas special, which I thought was just a rehash of one of the regular episodes. I caught bits and pieces of Dara Ó Briain’s stand up gig on the Beeb. I can’s stand him when he’s on panel shows like Have I Got News For You, but didn’t mind him that much on his own.
I almost forgot the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Maybe that’s because I didn’t find it too memorable. Kylie and Tennant worked well off each other, but the story was a little is that all there is. I hope the much hyped start of Torchwood’s second season (January 16) will be more exciting.
What I listened to
I don’t listen to the radio, haven’t really since college. Since I got the iPod a few weeks back, I have set up an elaborate playlist which ensures I won’t hear a track twice. I’m doing this because there are way too many songs in my collection that I’ve never listened to, because I tended to put favourites on repeat before. I’ve exported my playlist from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve for your perusal: listened.txt
Other than that, I spent many hours transferring some of my own old DAT and MD bootlegs to hard disk, splicing them up in tracks and uploading the full shows to a private tracker. I made a handful of people very happy and I enjoyed reliving the memories that go with the concerts and the friends I went with. Precious moments.
As for albums, that dying breed of a format, the new Einstuerzende Neubauten ‘Alles Wieder Offen’ is really, really good. If you’re the kind of person who dismisses them for being German, or ancient, or just… ‘weird’, now’s the time to actually listen to their new work. It may surprise you. Or, you know, confirm your suspicions. If the single Weil, weil, weil puts you off, give Nagorny Karabach a go.
What I surfed
My usual haunts. Television Without Pity for my daily portion of undiluted snark. Our own Whedonesque, of course – things got rather heated over Christmas. I still visit Metafilter though not as often as I used to. I checked out Derek Powazek’s new magazine blog Magazineer.com. I also spent time on various tapers related forums like taperssection.com, looking for information on the hardware I use to record, or to find out the best ways to reduce hiss and remove pops and clicks. Most of the time, though, I was probably reading what folks were up to on Twitter.
What I played
Meg added this one to the list of questions. I’d really love to have more opportunities to play board games, like we used to in college. On New Year’s Eve I played one round of Trivial Pursuit which I enjoyed a lot. It’s probably the only game I have some chance of winning as I’m useless at all tactical games like Risk.
Who I tag
Please feel free to join in, or not: Derek Powazek, Hydragenic, maybe I can wake Reluctant Nomad from his slumber and I know it’s not going to happen, but I’d love to read what Stephen Fry’d make of this meme. Last but not least I’m going to try to infect the Dutch blogosphere (oh god no, I’m using the b word) and that’s why I tag Erwin Blom, who doesn’t visit here I’m sure, but if you all click on the link a few times he might get the idea.