Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-03-18 Entry: "Absent With Leave"

This should actually be the first entry since Thursday, but manages instead to be since Wednesday. Thursday sort of got lost...

As my birthday managed to fall on beer festival day (Friday), drinks with work fell on Thursday lunchtime, which managed to wipe out productive work that afternoon, and meant I failed to write anything resembling a proper entry.

Friday saw the long drive to Leeds, with a random stop around Milton Keynes for the usual unknown motorway reasons - traffic comes to a grinding halt, queues off into the distance, and then suddenly gets going with no sign of what the holdup was.

Unsurprisingly, the weather was pretty terrible - this seems to be a theme of the drive to or from Yorkshire, that every time I do it it rains horribly. Only on the days I actually drive though...

So, after making it to Leeds and deciding to brave the beer festival (you have to, if only to get the commemorative pint glass), we proceeded to consume large quantities of beer - best of the evening was the Harviestoun brewery's Bitter And Twisted, but the Heather brewery Fraoch Heather Ale was as nice as usual. I also indulged in an American beer in an attempt to get into the spirit of things - some bunch in LA produced the Anchor Light Beer, which came in a bottle that turned out to be about a pint and a half...

After recovering on Saturday morning (although, oddly, the hangover wasn't too bad), we caught a preview of Ice Age. Not really having a clue what it was about, other than knowing it was animated, I went in with no preconceptions. Unfortunately, the cinema was packed with small children which is never the best condition to see a film under. The film turned out to be pretty poor - there were a couple of laughs (the random objects frozen in the cave were probably a highlight), but on the whole it wasn't all that great.

The only highlight of the film was an Episode 2 trailer... that'd be Star Wars episode two for those who've been living in a cave for the past twenty years. Lots of random action shots. Ewan McGregor trying to do an Alec Guinness impression. Yoda coming out with some rubbish. Hayden Christensen being arrogant and unlikeable. More terrible dialogue. No sign of Jar Jar. So now I'm fairly ambivalent about it - I'll almost certainly see it, but I'm not expecting great cinema... I mean, come on, George Lucas has had a hand in the script (or at least, he wrote all the lines for the trailer)...

The filmic expedition was followed by a couple of beers plus lunch, followed by a return to sobriety with a DVD (in this instance A Knight's Tale), and then pizza with the X-Men, where I still can't decide if Anna Paquin makes a good Rogue or not... I'm still just about on the "Yes" side, but the more I watch it, the less convinced I am... I guess the second film will have to clinch it... which may be one of the franchises that doesn't make it out until next year (unlike every other movie franchise under the sun which has a sequel out this year), but I can't quite remember (and can't be bothered to try and look it up).

Sunday saw retrieval of my brother from York, a couple more near misses on the motorway (people refusing to get out of the way when I want to change lanes... I mean, where I want to drive should be clear!), more rain (which was typical after Saturday's sunnyness), and home in time for dinner. The evening was finished up with 24 and the X-Files, and the disaster of finding out my clever attempt to tape the grand prix had ended in disaster - the video I used had a clock exactly 1 hour out, so I'm missing the end! And ITV don't seem to be replaying it one night mid-week for once... Grrrr!

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