tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
After my knee stress injury cleared up I returned to my beloved Zombies, Run! 5k fitness app and I'm happily running myself ragged again.

I've never been very good at mentally picturing characters I have no visual frame of reference for -- when I read novels or listen to audio plays I only have this cloudy vague humanoid blur in my mind's eye, it's much more important to me how they feel or act. That's why I hardly ever make fanart of those things, even though I consume a lot of non-visual media and fanart is my usual reaction to falling in love with a piece of fiction.

But then ZR happened and hey, time to just plain decide on a look for these characters because I feel a MIGHTY NEED here. Especially Sam Yao, the sympathetic and traumatized radio operator who acts as your link to the safety of Abel Township.

It was never about the zombies )

I don't run as often as I'd like, which means I don't get to listen to as many ZR episodes a week as I'd like. But still, it's pretty funny to me that an audio drama can make me do an activity I spent all my formative years hating.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
Just as sure as summer will follow spring, I'm pretty sure I will always return to Sherlock Holmes stories. Even if I forget how much I love them years at a time. Usually my infatuation with specific fiction abates after a while, either because I've run out of material or because I've gluttoned myself and had too much at one time -- but Holmes? That's an inexhaustible love of mine, even though I sometimes plain forget just how happy those stories make me.

A few months ago I was in a thrift shop where I spotted a particularly hideous Norwegian edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -- the exact edition I first picked up at the library when I was ten, and which introduced me to the Canon! (It doesn't have a print year listed, oddly enough, but I'm guessing eighties/early nineties from the cover design). So I bought it out of sentiment and put it on my shelf and forgot about it.

And then I was out walking today because I wanted to give Welcome to Night Vale a listen (mostly to fill the temporary Zombies, Run!-shaped hole in my life, my knee is still a wreck), but the file was corrupted and I had to find something else to listen to. I always have one of the BBC Holmes audios stashed away somewhere on my phone, so I thought "Ah, for old time's sake" (the episode happened to Scandal in Bohemia, the first story I ever read). I spent the rest of the walk grinning from ear to ear.

Not just because BBC radio Holmes is by far the best Holmes adaption I've ever come across (I have nothing new to say about Merrison's Holmes, other than that he's wonderful in the role and has the most infectious laugh), but because, goshdarnit, I just love these old stories and characters. Even though I've read them, watched them, and listened to them countless of times, and I always know exactly who did it, and what challenges will be thrown Holmes and Watson's way, I just can't stop loving them.

So now I'm sitting here leafing through that book I bought at the thrift store, feeling like I've slipped on an old comfy sweater. I think this Christmas I'll bring back my tradition of reading that great pastiche story where Holmes is hired to stalk Santa Clause.
tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
I haven't said anything because I don't want to jinx it, but I've recently taken up running. I haven't exercised in any way after I moved away from my beloved yoga studio in Bergen two years ago, and even though I've been gaining weight non-stop since then it's been hard to find any motivation. And running? All through school I absolutely hated it; The humiliation of finishing last, suffering through side stitches and shin splints and leg cramps...

The big incentive came through an app. Actually, more of an play built into an app. It's called Zombies, Run! and is a sort of audio play where you're a character, and have to run and gather supplies for a small town in zombie-infested England. Not very interactive while you're running I'm afraid, though it records your speed, route and pace, and you get to play a resources-managing game on the website after you've completed your run. Mostly it offers well-written drama, fascinating characters and some great audio editing. I'm not even a general fan of zombie fiction -- I just enjoy the characters and the universe.

Actually I haven't graduated to the main app yet, I'm currently going through its Couch-to-5K sister app set in the same universe. It's very good, and helps me pace myself. The main thing I like about it is it doesn't make me think "Well I ought to go exercise I guess", instead I think "I need to know what happens next!"; and with episodes clocking in at a little over thirty minutes I usually can find the time to go for a quick run.

Sadly it's just been two weeks and I've already managed to hurt myself, which prompted this entry. I'm both frustrated at not being able to go running today, and not getting to progress the story. I blame using the wrong shoes, and running mostly on asphalt (though my running form is probably not as good as it should be neither). My P.E. teacher used to harp on about the importance of high-quality shoes but silly me thought my sister's second-hand zumba shoes would work for a while. Once my knee heals up I'll go to a proper sports good store and let them recommend me something better.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
I'm trying to get back into the habit of taking daily strolls, you know; my constitutionals. I haven't done those regularly since I moved from Bergen. The most important thing though, apart from good shoes, is good audio dramas. I can't listen to audio dramas without going hiking, and I can't go hiking without listening to audio dramas.

Fortunately, exploring my external hard drive I found almost a hundred episodes of The Adventures of Sam Spade (all legal too - they're in public domain). I remember listening to maybe a dozen of them back when I lived in Bergen and even though I'll admit the actual whodunnits never particularly interested me, I love this show simply for how every episode is constructed:

Sam Spade always dictates his newest case to his long-suffering secretary Effie, usually after entering the office and scaring Effie with his newest wound or torn suit. And as I said, the mysteries don't interest me. I spend the main part of each episode admiring Steve Dunne (or earlier on, Howard Duff)'s great performance as Sam Spade. Quick-fire delivery, slightly nasal gumshoe voice, and Dunne in particular stood out among all the posh radio actors of the era simply for always saying "yah" rather than "yeah".

My favourite part is always the end of the episode, after Sam has wrapped up the case, because from then on it's always about his chummy relationship with Effie (or "Eff" as he calls her). Even if she's a bit of an airhead Sam always encourages her ("THAT'S my girl!" in a such a heartfelt way that not even my feminist core finds anything patronizing about it), and they joke and laugh and are such pals. Then they close up the office together and every episode ends with the exact same words:

"Goodnight, Sam."

"Goodnight, sweetheart."
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Whisper)
I'm starting to think we've entered some kind of monsoon season. Bergen is known as the wettest city in Norway, but this is getting ridiculous. I feel like I've been cooped up in here for weeks.

I think the long summer holiday destroyed my "Rain? You call this rain?" Bergenser approach, because I used to go hiking in the mountains in the downpour without a second thought, but these days I can barely force myself to go to the store and back in the rain.

This needs to change. I need to get back to my hiking habits - I guess it's time to load the mp3 player with British radio again and just get outside. Hm, maybe I should give Coules' Sherlock Holmes audios yet another relisten? I never tried doing them all chronologically, did I?

That's it then; A Study in Scarlet on the player, with Clive Merrison at - well I don't know how old he was at the time, but in any case way older than Holmes' twenty-six years, but that doesn't matter because Merrison's the best Holmes that ever was, at any age (although it was kind of weird in that pastiche story The Saviour of Cripplegate Square but that might have had something to do with the absurdity of Tom Baker bursting into my Sherlock Holmes story).

ETA: And just when I'd made up my mind it REALLY started pouring cats and dogs out there. Hey, I've got enough food to tide me over 'till tomorrow...
tilly_stratford: (ST: Relevant to my interests)
I remember a job interview I had at Norway's biggest comic retailer chain a few years ago (I was found lacking in manga knowledge and didn't get the job, sadly), where the guy seemed oddly surprised when he learned I was a fan of classic Doctor Who. "But - that has never been aired on Norwegian TV!"

The internet is a lovely thing. The majority of my favourite entertainment I've only discovered via the net. The only drawback is that however successful the movie or TV show is in its country of origin, if it hasn't been shown on Norwegian TV it's either completely unknown or regarded as "obscure". I still get a thrill when something I like - often something that's quite well-known in other countries - is mentioned in Norwegian media. I remember almost having a heart attack at hearing The Goon Show mentioned in a TV show once.

So let me easily segue into my surprise at finding Norwegian reviews of Lupin III DVDs. Obviously written by a person with knowledge of and love for the franchise, no less! I get a kick out of him trying to describe the show for an unsuspecting Norwegian audience: "[...] It's without compare. The only comparisons I can think of might be something like James Bond or Simon Templar. If not Dickie Dick Dickens." (OH MY GOD, DICKIE DICK DICKENS. "THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN CHICAGO". Great Norwegian radio show from the sixties concerning a loveable mobster-gone-rogue and his gang. Lovely show!).

This lovely reviewer goes on to describe Yuji Ohno's soundtrack as "elegant, cheesy and badass jazz. A bit like protagonist Lupin III, you might say." And he describes Yasuo Yamada (Lupin's voice actor) as "a genius". SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS REVIEWER.

Still not sure if I'm going to buy that Norwegian DVD collection of the first three Green Jacket episodes, but hey, it might have more randomly added profanity. That'd be worth the price (which is on the level of a Big Mac anyway).
tilly_stratford: (Buster: kiss)
I always get restless the night before I travel over the mountains.

Almost packed up, and I had some grand plans about tidying and cleaning the place but I guess we'll limit that to "throw the dirty clothes in a corner and get rid of the disposable food". Good enough.

My mp3 player is stuffed full of old episodes of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue while my mobile is packed with Tommy Makem songs. I don't know why, I always love listening to folk music when I travel over those snowy mountains. It's like one of the few times of the year get really moved by overly sentimental lyrics. At noon tomorrow I might just be able to tear up a little listening to a song like 'The Butcher Boy'.
Oh make my grave large, wide and deep
Put a marble stone at my head and feet
And in the middle, a turtle dove
That the world may know that I died for love
I can joke about it now, but four hours into that train ride I might very well get a lump in my throat at the sight of a happy child. What strange power the Bergen-Oslo railway has over me...
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Russian Watson)
In TV shows, in radio shows, in movies - I have a tendency to immediately latch onto characters who break away from the RP-accents and who are unapologetically Scottish, Irish or Welsh (especially thick-as-custard Welsh, I find it worryingly sexy).

Why is Mister Hudson the butler my favourite in Upstairs downstairs? Miiight have something to do with him being So. Very. Scottish.

Why am I relistening to the BBC radio adaption of The Valley of Fear? All them Irishmen, man! And Inspector MacDonald (who must have the cutest nickname in Canon as Holmes constantly calls him Mister Mac)! MacDonald might be my favourite SH inspector after Athelney Jones. And why Athelney Jones? HE IS THE MOST WELSH PERSON IN THE WORRRLD.

And that's another thing, I haven't been able to watch a single second of the new Sherlock Holmes TV series with Benedict Thundersnatch Cumberpatch and I'm sad about that, but the fact that everybody refer to it as the BBC Holmes is a constant source of disappointment to me. I'm always like "ooh are people discussing Clive Merrison! He's a swell Holmes isn't he!" and they're all going "daww cellphone love!" instead. Can't we follow Doctor Who's lead and call it nu!Holmes or something instead?

Yeah? You start doing that and I'll try to watch the series as soon as a Norwegian girl without a TV can do.
tilly_stratford: (QI: The internet is brilliant)
My flist is busy discussing the season finale of Doctor Who, and I haven't even seen Matt Smith as the Doctor yet. I'll get on it sooner or later, just waiting for the mood to come over me. It's traditional that I'm at least two seasons behind everybody else anyway.

But oh! I've finally found a new British radio love: Old Harry's Game! The best sitcom about the daily life in Hell you'll ever find!

In the first season finale God pops in as Satan struggles to get his sort-of friend/nemesis the Professor reassigned to Heaven (since the Prof is so optimistic and selfless minor demons commit suicide around him), and the demon Gary is on trial for rebellion even though it was Thomas (one of the most sinful people ever, who caused the car crash that caused him and the Prof to die) who was the mastermind behind it.

Oh yeah nobody makes comedy like the British. And there's six more seasons of this baby. HAPPYPLACE.
tilly_stratford: (ST: AMIRITE SPOCK)
Okay, so the broadband up and died on me in Bergen a few days ago and since then I've been traveling cross-country to the RIGHT side of Norway. I'm currently typing this on my sister [livejournal.com profile] tiny_cs's laptop. So that's my excuse - and why I might appear slightly more sporadically in the near feature.

On the seven-hour trip I forced myself to listen to the entire Spaced Out compilation album - i.e. Shatner's infamous The Transformed Man record interspersed with Nimoy's illadvised venture into pop and country music. Oh my goodness.

I am pretty sure that Spaced Out is the best way to be introduced to The Transformed Man - somehow The Shat's spoken junkie rendition of 'Mr Tambourine Man' ("In the jingle... JANGLE... morning I'll come. Following you!") becomes infinitely more preferable when sandwiched between Nimoy's soulless karaoke attempts at 'If I had a hammer' ("The hammer is the Hammer of JUSTICE!" What is this, The Avengers?) and 'Where is love'. When I thought nothing could be worse than The Shatman shouting the lyrics to 'Lucy in the sky with diamonds' Nimoy was there, whiiining his way through 'Everybody's talkin''.

I'm pretty sure that if I had listened to The Transformed Man on its own it would have been a far more painful experience (well I rather liked the Shakespearean monologues). In any case, I can't see why that album has earned such a negative reputation - sure it's occasionally very very bad and ridiculous, but not soulcrushingly bad; it's a concept album, it was an attempt at something new - in stark contrast to Nimoy who struggles to do this and that song exactly like Kenny Rogers, or Dean Martin, or whoever. But I don't think I'll listen to any of those records again for a very long time.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
When is there not a loud party in this neighbourhood playing pounding trance music? I know I sound like a grumpy old aunt but in that case I've always been one. Never could stand trance music a day in my life.

I've got Sam Spade to keep me company in my misery though - I've started listening to the Adventures of Sam Spade radio show from the forties. Oh I know it's a dumbed-down adaption with silly names and farcical situations, but I'm nurturing such a crush on Spade - with his witty one-liners and random urges to make out with his secretary.

I googled the voice actors and was disappointed to find they weren't as handsome as I'd imagined - it's always that way with radio, isn't it? I hadn't realized that they changed the actor playing Spade mid-way through the series though. Apparently Howard Duff lost the job on account of the government believeing him to be one of them dirty Commies and Steve Dunne took over.

Every time I read about the Communist scare of the forties and fifties it seems so weird how people's entire careers were destroyed based on those accusations. I study history; I can somehow wrap my head around the Crusades, but those collective bouts of paranoia in the Twentieth Century keep on bewildering me.
tilly_stratford: (ST: The bitches love it)
for blogging!

I'm more hungry than I am sleepy though. I sort of never got around to grocery shopping these last few days, so I had a tin of beans for supper and now my cupboard's all empty.

Anyway, lying awake I came to the decision that I ought to come clean: These last two weeks I've been enjoying the audio book of Shatner's autobiography Up Till Now immensely.

In show business a kick in the pants is never just a kick in the pants. It requires analysis. )

In closing (why do I always get so wordy when I'm sleepy?), all I can say about it was really that it did the only thing I demand of a good audio experience: It made me humiliate myself by bursting out laughing in public. Few things can top a whispered retelling of the plot of Nightmare At 20,000 Feet followed by an intense, hummed rendition of the Twilight Zone theme. "Do dee doo-doo doo..."
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
The Night of the Hunter (1955) proved to be one of those movies that makes me sit back and think "Jesus Christ I love films". Magic. And possibly my second favourite murder scene.

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My God. My God.

--

On the way to the movie club I listened to the BBC SH adaption of 'The resident patient'. I've never noticed that bizarre little interlude with Holmes, Watson, and that passing lady of the night before. I think it's supposed to be humorous, but I can quite tell what the punchline's supposed to be. Huh.
tilly_stratford: (Orson has had enough of your bs)
I love walking in the city after dark, listening to some suitable Tom Waits in the warm and windy weather with my coat unbuttoned and flapping in the wind - I'm Sam Spade, I'm Philip Marlowe and that isn't the weight of a Nokia I feel in my pocket, it's a Colt .39 and everybody should be able to tell just by looking at me that I'm a real non-skid who'll throw lead if a hinky palooka should start getting real gashouse.

Or maybe I've been watching too many noir films lately. (Man hardboiled forties' slang is fun!)

Yesterday I gave (most of) the audio play performance Spock vs. Q a listen. I mean just look at that title. I find it perfectly understandable if you're making high-pitched keening noises from the excitement right now. In fact I'm pretty certain the script writers were so busy jizzing their geek pants they forgot to actually make it about anything.

The long-awaited haiku debate )

My new audio love for the moment seems to be The lives of Harry Lime from the early fifties, starring... well you can probably guess by now. (You can download them for free and all legal here!)

Why such a cold-blooded (albeit utterly charming) character as Lime from The Third Man should get a radio prequel full of exotic romantic adventure is a little bit odd, but that's why I find it so refreshing; Because Lime is the narrator they really play around with the unreliable narrator thing and it's delightful.
"I'd lost the lovely green emerald... and the green eyes of Amy. The emerald didn't bother me too much, but Amy, oh... Amy. She nearly interfered with the great romance of my life; My love for Harry Lime."
tilly_stratford: (ST: Space OT3)
Arrived in Bergen late last night, the rain was pouring down. I've missed you too, Bergen.

On the seven-hour train journey I gave Mercury Theater's War of the Worlds broadcast another listen. Still brilliant. All those little details, the technological glitches, the abrupt pauses - still scared the bejeezus out of me.

Now I finally have the time to make a sort of review too - because lo, I have seen Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1970). I'm even going to give you two reviews of it, because I'm trying to make up for The Shallow.

Nonspoilery visual/emoticon review )

Actual review with reflections and plot and things )

I hope to find the time to watch Wrath of Khan this evening. I'm sure that will result in the usual amount of Caps Lock.

Here again

Oct. 29th, 2009 07:49 am
tilly_stratford: (DW: Jamie/Doctor - true wuv)
Ah, finally on the familiar side of the country again. Now my five day tour of various family and friends starts - later today I'm heading into Oslo to browse the Kon-Tiki museum with Rune, can't wait!

On the train journey over I learned what new acquaintances watching Firefly on my laptop (my first episode!) and having the TOS communicator chirp as a message alert tone can bring. Had a very nice conversation with a fellow geek, he convinced me my next step should be watching Babylon 5 (EVIL WALTER KOENIG OMG).

Oh, and after no new Big Finish audios for more than a year I finally gave The Maltese Penguin a listen. I was squirming in my seat trying to not grin quite so wide. Not only do I find I love Six and Frobisher, it's also a parody of one of my favourite movies ever. Peter Lorre impersonators are a dime a dozen but when they brought out the Sidney Greenstreet parallel my jaw dropped.

Oh Big Finish I've missed you so.
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
Earlier this week somebody over at [livejournal.com profile] ontd_startrek (which I keep pretending not to lurk at) linked to this failtastic article about how scifi is reportedly being "feminized" and how it's OMG RUINING EVERYTHING. Then somebody made a motivator quoting the article and I still haven't stopped laughing at it.

And now I've started giggling again because I caught a glimpse of it while uploading it. AHAHAA. I JUST DON'T KNOW.

I can do a very nice segue from featherbrains who can't enjoy fiction with females in it too, since I also felt like having a go at that wonderful meme making the rounds these days:

100 awesome female characters )
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
I've packed away my summer wardrobe and made the room presentable for Tiny when she comes tonight (WEEE). I always end up spending more time organizing my DVDs than, you know, tackling the terrifying mountains of paper that seems to appear between each of my tidying sessions.

Spent some of the time listening to one of those Jeeves audio plays from the seventies starring Michael Horden and Richard Briers, and good God man! It never occurred to me that there might at some point have been an actor who sounded exactly like the Bertie in my mind!

Sure I've enjoyed watching the Granada TV series in the past, but that was more because of the novelty of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie portraying the characters, not because their portrayals corresponded with how I thought Jeeves and Wooster should be.

But Richard Briers just is Bertram Wilberforce Wooster. It's the first time I've ever encountered an actor who could say Woosterisms like they were the most natural things in the world. I'm not crazy about Michael Horden's Jeeves thus far, but then again I don't think anyone could ever portray Jeeves like I envision him in my mind.

I'm intrigued though. Must investigate further.
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
I hope they're rough, I hope their skin is tough like Spanish leather
Can't wait until their dull dead eyes meet mine
Augh, I need to shake up my mountain hiking habits. Partly it's because I feel like I know Fløyen inside out now - I've seen all the seasons change, the panorama doesn't impress me anymore. But also the thing is that I feel like I've listened to all my audio plays five hundred times each now.

I didn't begin hiking for the mountain's sake, it was just something to do while listening to the sixty-plus Sherlock Holmes audios I got my hands on last year.

Finding a new mountain to climb shouldn't be too hard, the city's surrounded by them after all. I just hope I don't need to travel by bus, since the reason I favour hiking to training studios is the price. Finding new audio plays to listen to is harder, I've been foraging both the library and The Internet Archive, but nothing has really grabbed me yet. It's possible I'm going to have to actually buy something.

It's not like I should stop with the hiking when it's so good for me - today I ran all the eighty-eight steps in the staircase up to my room, hardly without being winded at all! I haven't been able to do that for months!

Oh yeah, and this is of course continually haunting my mind every step of the way, and has done so for weeks. "And the climb is going where no man has gone before."
tilly_stratford: (Orson has had enough of your bs)
I slept absurdly little last night, I gave up at five o'clock and got dressed. I only get these bouts of insomnia when I'm supposed to attend those eight o'clock lectures the next day. Agh.

Good thing I've found my new radio series to get stuck on: The Campbell Playhouse!

After the usual hustle of my morning routine there's nothing like putting on my headphones and listening to Orson Welles (with that voice so deep and sonorous it makes my toes curl) as Edmond Dantès or Dr. Andrew Manson or Fletcher Christian as I walk to the university.

And also; I don't know if it's the lack of sleep or what, but I should probably give The Green Hornet TV series a go. Even though all I know about the Green Hornet I learned when I watched the intro five minutes ago:

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Sixties' pulp action! Bruce Lee! Domino masks! Awesome - and I do mean awesome - theme music. I wish I had the lucidity to actually track an episode down right now. And the ability to focus my gaze.

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