Saturday, 26 December 2009

Back on Boxing Day

Greetings, everyone! Hope you had a peaceful holiday, whatever your traditions are -- if you've been fighting your way through shopping malls to find the perfect present, I hope you emerged (relatively) unscathed with what you wanted. If you've been cooking non-stop, I hope you're taking a breather. If you've been entertaining relatives, I hope all went well. And if you've been caught in a snowstorm, have hope: you will get home soon.

I've been taking a break from the blog myself, induced by general holiday madness and the soporific effects of eating turkey (mostly the turkey). But I'm back, and plan on picking up the White Album Redux project again, which I have music for but haven't got round to posting.

I've also been listening to music. I got a great new pair of headphones, with sound isolation and everything, and it's a refreshing change from my earbuds. ("Wait it Out" by Imogen Heap is playing now, which could have been a great Christmas single -- speaking of which, did you hear about Rage Against the Machine claiming top spot on the UK Christmas singles chart in an attempt to knock The X Factor artists from their perennial throne? Personally, if there was one band I'd expect to hit #1 on Christmas, it wouldn't be Rage Against the Machine.)

In other unexpected news, you've probably heard by now about
the woman that attacked the Pope in St. Peter's Basilica on Christmas Eve. She attempted the same thing in 2008, which makes me wonder why she wasn't stopped from entering the Vatican in the first place. (Human error, I guess; having been there, I can attest to the huge numbers that pass through its entrances, and plenty of people wear red.)

I also had the pleasure of watching the first part of the new two-part Doctor Who special, the plot of which gives unexpected a whole new meaning. It's called The End of Time, and I don't think the production team is kidding: the fate of the universe does not look good. (The End of Time concludes on New Year's Day.)

It's almost 2010, and I guess some changes are due, in keeping with the new year: if you've stopped by the blog recently, you may have noticed my new Sites of Note , a heavily revised version of my Blogroll section. In keeping with my nifty new slogan, links are now divided into Opinion, Culture, Books and Music, categories which are, as with most things, not necessarily exclusive.

Favorites for me include PopMatters, one of the best sites for opinions on everything pop culture, as well as Cultural Learnings and McNutt Against the Music, two outstanding blogs -- one deals with television, the other with music.

Outstanding as well is Storytellers Unplugged, where thirty writers (one for each day of the month) contribute thoughts, opinions and advice on the life of an author. It's funny, fascinating, and highly recommended for anyone that's a writer (or isn't, and finds reading about writers/writing equally interesting). The blog of Neil Gaiman-- who I met last week, and will probably blog about soon -- is also a great read, warm and witty, smart and compassionate.

That's it for this post, but rest assured, more will come!

Until next time,

Paul

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