Sunday, August 14, 2005

Forms 'n' fooling around

Fooling around with cleaning and shopping chores, plus sending off emails & forms to various bureaucracies who collect signed copies of my written works. If you apply for a visa then you may need to get a Criminal History check done. For Australian citizens looking for an overseas visa, get the form from the Australian Federal Police; those who have been in Australia, apply to DIMIA.

Was very pleasantly surprised to discover a food-hall coffee counter in a Wigan shopping mall that can actually make a Flat White. Went to see Fantastic Four for an evening of eye candy. Flame on!
The Guardian ran a competition to write a Harry Potter parody in the style of another author. NB the parodies describe the death of someone in HP & the Half-Blood Prince. The winner: Geoffrey Chaucer's The Poppynge of the Clogges. The Gerard Manley Hopkins version is particularly evocative of another era (1980 English classes...):

Storm-shriven-stone stands, stays and waits, statue-shivers there,

stills; and racked, wrath-rotted the red-rimed flesh flinch-flays

A moath-moan, cries the crypt-cruel curse - brain-beats-bloody, frays

Apple-arid air. Deepdry-bearded grey whelmed why-wizard, ah! dare

you pace the plague-pressioned pale-painpincèd lair

Which darkness drowns and daylight deaths, despairs the days?

Choice late-lost, grassgreen glass-light bright brash blooms, stays,

Softens to garland green-gale, faint-fades and - steel-stained air...

If you like this sort of thing, then I commend Cassandra Claire's Very Secret Diary series, written around the principal characters of Lord of the Rings. They are a few years old now, but are a worthy update to Harvard Lampoon's effort from the 1960s. The Legolas and Sauron entries are particularly good, but they should be read in order of publication, to pick up on recurring themes. Of course if that's too puerile for you, then McSweeney's Chomskian Commentary on the movie might suit. Movie buffs will enjoy the Bogart/Dietrich/Greenstreet/Welles version with Peter Lorre as Gollum.

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