Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

So it’s Good Friday, the day that commemorates when Jesus died on the cross. And that makes it good? For the record, I’m not a Christian (can’t come at the whole resurrection and forgiveness of sins stuff), but I like what we know of Jesus. He’s okay. I’m one of those people who says ‘Happy Birthday, Jesus’ when he sits down for Christmas dinner. Respect.

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Well, he’s not Jesus, but he comes close. Yes, I’m talking about Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. I had a listen to the Smile album today, the one I bought at the record fair last week (and the one Brian almost ‘died’ for our sins to try to make ;-). The album comes with a beautiful booklet that details the story of the album and includes all of Van Dyke Park‘s amazing lyrics, festooned with lovely (and strangely appropriate) Victoriana images. I happily read along to the lyrics as the music washed over me. Brian and his group of superlative musicians and singers recreate the original and possibly surpass it. Bear with me, people, it’s only my first run-through of this particular album, so I’ll need time to process it. But on first impression: what an astonishing piece of work! The version of Surf’s Up here may well be the best. I’ll need to study and ponder and compare. Let me get back to you on this.

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It being a lazy and sunny Good Friday I felt the need for a session of No Man’s Sky…Back from his exocraft safari on Planet Jeongyeon, my spawn is caught in a bad weather incident and has to retire to Jeongie’s pad for shelter. Once the weather clears he moves on to Planet Chaeyoung, though the route is somewhat circuitous. He (I?) has to go via the stargate to the outlaw station, Chaeyoung’s Rendezvous, before we can make landfall, because Chaeyoung’s stargate is not working. Somehow it’s no surprise that Chae would choose an outlaw system to base herself in. Actually, I think she may have been the one to established it in the first place (note the outlaw station’s title!). There are some seedy aliens hanging around the station so I quickly get into my ship, The Voyage (Special Class) and make my way down to Babybeast Base via pulse drive. I notice when I land a number of other ships coming down to the trading post nearby. It’s a popular spot, and no doubt a reason why Chaeyoung built her base here. Her planet has a witchy vibe to it, with half-formed, gnarled old trees and mist rising from the mountains. It’s damp with patches of heavy rain, but the critters, mostly giant moth-like insects, seem friendly. Her base, or cottage, is a stone-built affair with two levels, plus a basement. I enter it, and as expected, our pint-sized tattooed goddess is nowhere to be seen. I notice her pots and pans on the top floor and wonder what potions she’s been brewing up. There are pewter cups on the surfaces of all the tables and benches. Nine to be exact, for whenever her fellow Twice members come to call. They hang out a lot. I’ll bet it’s a party when they do. I try the basement, but it’s empty, apart from the many lockboxes that house Chae’s valuables. I wonder what’s in them. I fly up to the trading post and make a purchase from the many toothsome black market items available there. Where to next?

Son Chaeyoung is probably the most artistic member of Twice. She loves to draw and paint, and she’s good at it. Although not my ultimate bias (that’s Mina), she’s the only one whose photobook I have a copy of. It’s called I Am Chaeyoung and it’s full of fabulous photos of Chae in various concepts. My favourite is the so-called ‘Little Women’ set where she’s sporting brown hair with a peasant look and hanging out in a cottage. So adorable. She was embroiled in a little controversy last year when she wore some questionable t-shirts (one, a punk-themed shirt with swastika on it, the other with a MAGA message on it). Some idiots were calling for her to be pulled from the group, but it was obviously just ignorance on Chae’s or her costumer’s part. She did a Melody Project last year with the song Weatherman, and the video was one of my favourite things of that year. She alone of the Twice girls has many strange and wonderful tattoos. She’s quirky and confident. Although some people say Tzuyu (and I won’t argue), I think Chaeyoung’s the cutest Twice member. There, I said it.

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I finished the graphic novel of A Wrinkle In Time. I really liked the overall weirdness of it all. The characters Mrs Whatsit, Who and Which. The creepy IT (a disembodied brain dripping ooze onto the floor!). The tesseract idea for space travel. Even the nightmare of uniformity planet Camazotz was memorable. But why is it considered a time travel book? It’s more about space travel. In the end, love wins out (nice, but simplistic). The theme of individuality versus conformity was half-baked. Oh well.

Header image by Thomas via Pixabay

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