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December 25th, 2002

A Jeeves and Wooster Christmas

My friends and family have been way more generous to me than I deserve, and for that I am humbly grateful. One gift jumps way out as being the absolute topper for me this year, and that is The Complete Jeeves & Wooster Mega-Set ... which just about made me fall out of my chair.

All I can say is, "ThankyouLauriethankyouthankyouit's'rifficIloveit!!!"

One of these days I should rave for a while about P.G. Wodehouse ... how can you not love a writer who makes such shrewd observations as, "The f. of the s. is more d. than the m.!" and gives his characters names like Bingo Little, Reverend Harold "Stinker" Pinker, Barmy Fungie-Fipps (that's Fotheringay Fipps to those so inclined) and Augustus "Gussie" Fink-nottle, the celebrated newt-fancier?

If you have any affection for Douglas Adams, you should make haste to read some Wodehouse, because Adams (and he was the first to admit this) was basically a Wodehouse pastichist with a science-fiction twist. This is not intended to detract from the talents of Mr. Adams: Wodehouse was of a rare and prodigious talent, and to be able to carry on that torch requires a great deal of skill indeed.

And lest you think all that's good about the series is that most of the hard writing was done by the late Sir Wodehouse, let me not fail to pipe in here about the esteemed Misters Fry and Laurie, who are two of my all-time favorite British comic talents. Although they graced Black Adder, have appeared in several films individually, and for a while had their own Pythonesque sketch show (named "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" to nobody's great surprise), it was through "Jeeves and Wooster" that I first got to know them, and it's as Jeeves and Wooster that I always think of them.

I think I've mentioned, and in case I haven't I am now, that Michael Macbeth, the frustratingly unwritten psychic detective prowling around my muse's closet, is modeled largely on Stephen Fry. In fact, I'll admit to the world here and now that I once nursed a hope that someday Mr. Fry would play Michael in a movie or series on "Mystery" or some such. However, given his physical state as of Black Adder V: Back and Forth, I suspect he may be getting a bit long in the tooth for the role.

Well, I think that's all the rambling I'm going to do for tonight. I'm back to work tomorrow (and I'm taking my new Jazz Butcher CD in to make MP3's, woohoo!) and I need to get up in the morning, so it's off to bed. The only other thing I'll mention here is that since I couldn't make it to kung fu class on Monday, and there are no classes today due to the holiday, I did a self-directed workout on my own from memory, combined with a bit of weight lifting, and reviewed the "Beltless Level" reference tape.

The thing that struck me about it was again how very far I've got to go. There's stuff on this tape, which you have to master before even gaining a white belt, that just makes my jaw hit the floor. Not so much the Wu Shu moves, although those are a bit daunting, but just the strength training stuff ... pushups with the hands turned fingers-towards-feet? Pushups with FISTS? I can see being able to work up to 15 minutes of horse stance -- I've heard that the monks do it for hours on end -- put the sheer flexibility required for those reverse-hand pushups (we won't even think about the strength) makes my poor fev'red brain hurt.

Nevertheless, we shall perservere! I've made up my mind to get good at this, and if determination and discipline fail me, then stubbornness and vanity will have to carry the day. (Let's face it, I'll look like a weak-minded loser if I don't carry on now, won't I? ;) )

G'nite everyone, and have a terrific Thursday! This means YOU!

-The Gneech

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