Temporary distractions from the endless churn of grim. It's always the little things that make life a pleasure.
Golden Sun III: Dark Dawn
Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs) are catnip to me, and probably always will be - tragic as it is for man in his thirties to enjoy such cutesy stuff. But I love everything about them: the superdeformed graphic style, the endless grinding, the random battles, and the consistently fine incidental music. The Nintendo DS is currently the best platform for these games as it hosts ports of many SNES classics and newer titles such as Dragon Quest IX and Golden Sun III: Dark Dawn, my current time sink. The game is easily one of the more graphically lush on the DS, occasionally using both screens to create a sense of size and drama in boss battles and suchlike. The storyline is good too. Well by good, I mean better than the usual 'collect the orbs, rescue the princess' crap. There's an evil moon called the 'mourning moon' - which is sort of dark and poetic, no? - and an imaginatively drawn cast of baddies. It's definitely one of the better JRPGs of recent years. Trust me, I go through them like a lunatic.
Caribou's Resident Advisor podcast
Dan Snaith's muse is swimming into the deeper currents of dance music if this wonderful podcast is anything to go by. He includes five tracks of new material recorded under the Daphni alias. They are all great and the rest of the podcast buzzes and pops through all kinds of eclectic treats. Find it here.
Vegemite is Marmite's strange and bitter antipodean cousin. It's stiffer and saltier than marmite and tastes a bit bruisier (if you can actually imagine marmite being milder and less salty than something). I wouldn't eat it near as much as I'd eat Marmite, but there are times when the craving for the blackened side-products of beer production get so bad that only a stronger hit will suffice. And yeah, in the absence of anything breadlike to spread it on, I'd lick it off a spoon. 'Cos I'm hardcore.
Toy Story 2
This was on telly over the weekend, and I was reminded how philosophically rich the movie is. The scenes where the two Buzzes confront each other in the toy hypermarket playfully raise all sorts of riddles about cloning and the nature of self. It's also full of pure heart. The Godfather 2 of the trilogy.
Reading this for the bookclub I belong to. It's hilarious in places, with the boys secondary school so well observed that the pages nearly smell spunkysocky (you know, the perma-aroma of every boys secondary school in the world).
Lots of music coming this week, as I am taking it easy in the new crib and mostly filling out visa application forms for a new life in Canada.