Friday, February 27, 2004

Well I’ve been cleaning and tidying for 3 hours since my last blog and I’m not sure if I’m making progress or not. I think I’ve woken a monster – something mortal man was not meant to meddle with.

What I’ve definitely woken was 22 pieces of elderly washing up. After they’d had a bit of a pre-soak in the tub I gave them a good clean and they’ve all (bar one) now been transferred to the kitchen to be washed all over again. The one that hasn’t made it yet had gone . . . wrong. If I had any sense at all I’d just chuck it away but I really want to think that no-one goes down – not on my watch. At the moment it’s being treated with neat Flash which shows no sign so far of removing the stubborn remaining patch. I managed to get most of it off with a razor blade but the final bit defeated me plus it smelt BAD. Put it this way I wrapped everything in 2 plastic bags, then a bin bag and have put that outside the flat. I can still smell it. I can smell it through an inch of Flash. It’s probably just paranoia now, but trust me – it was not good.

I wonder what my flatmates would think if they knew I’d been using the bath for diseased washing up . . . probably be very pragmatic about it. Anyway I’ve cleaned the bath as well (thank you Mr Muscle) which is the first time since I last did it anyway, so you can imagine that it needed it. Am going to have some lunch now – I think the only thing that could possibly suffice is a beer and a fag. YES!

Oooh to be in blog, and never get out again . . . name that quote in one. Actually I'm blogging as work avoidance thing – well not work actually but more like tidying avoidance.

Yes – horrible but true - finally started my long needed and much wanted spring clean / clean. Regular readers - to whom I aplogise for my lack of posts in the last 2 weeks will be familiar with this theme - ie my utter slobdom, but I'm finally doing something (however ineffectual) about it.

Of course that is just avoidance of something else – notably paying the unpaid council tax and getting a job. I can’t believe I’m avoiding my work avoidance work. No wonder I never get anything done.

Anyway I had to stop the tidying because I’ve only been doing it for 2 hours and I’ve already found enough stuff to depress the life out of . . . um . . . Fungus.

Pan’s top 5 depressing things to find tidying up :-

1) A shirt you last wore at school.
2) Glasses that are so long time unwashed they’ve become . . . etched
3) Old love letters crumpled up under a pile of clothes
4) A compilation tape someone made for you circa 1992.
5) Out of date condoms - box unopened.

Earlier I misspelt blogging as 'bloggin'. Is that the cockney version? : "Just goin’ dhaan the drinker fer a spot of bloggin, mate."

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Ugh – being a work shy doley sucks big time. Today is the first time I’ve been up in the A.M. since Friday. Hurrah. Is it Thursday or Wednesday? Apparently it’s Thursday. But how would I know? Have finished Halo so need something else to do now. For which read helping Phil out with his plan to take over the world. Or at least those parts of it which pertain to the local government benefits system.

Got utterly ripped on Friday but thankfully not with my weirdo ex-colleagues – seem to remember going roller blading about 3am but no broken limbs so just lucky I guess. Other than that, erm, went to see Un Chien Andalou and L’age D’Or on Sunday where I sat in a cinema on my own wearing a black polo neck watching 1920’s surrealism for an hour and twenty fucking minutes. I wasn’t meant to be on my own but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Shouldn’t get my hopes up – doomed to be disappointed. Ho hum.

Can’t think of anything else to blog about . . . my life seems strangely devoid of purpose.

Friday, February 13, 2004

This will be my very last post from within the warm embrace of mega giant multi national corp. I actually feel a bit weepy. How sad is that? I forgot what it was like to work for such a global giant – it doesn't feel impersonal or anonymous, it's sort of like being part of a massively extended and slightly dysfunctional family, but also one that values you and, sometimes, goes a long way to look after you.

Without the comfort of that you are, once again, just another meaningless mote floating in the eye of David Blunkett’s dole scrounger statistics. Or something.

Anyway it feels quite sad to be going, so expect some fairly self indulgent posts in the next few weeks. Laters, dudes :(

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I would seriously recommend staying upwind of this guy for the month of March. Ouch. You're gonna die, dude.

Courtesy of thesneeze.

I don't know what will really happen if you eat nothing but baked beans for 4 weeks, but it can't possibly be good. Look what happend to this guy who ate nothing but McDonald's for a month. Very bad things.

Why did the ancient Egyptians only build four sided pyramids? OK this allows a certain amount of leeway in terms of quarrying stone, but if they’d been tetrahedral instead I’m sure it wouldn’t have killed them. Of course an equal sided (including the base) tetrahedral would have been too tall to retain vertical stability over hundreds of years, but they didn’t have to be equal sided. So my basic question is : why do pyramids have 4 triangular sides and one square (the base) instead of 3 triangular sides and one triangular base. What’s wrong with triangles???

Actually thinking about that and solid shapes in general, has anyone ever proved that you can’t have a solid object made entirely from sides with the same number of vertices as there are sides?

- - -

I sent my CV off to 3 agents today. Bastards – none of them have got back to me, despite the fact that they all asked for my CV un-requested. My soon to be unemployed status has evidently triggered the agency scum's Pavlovian responses and they’ve come sniffing around looking for easy pickings. So why haven’t they got back to me? Is it because they are all useless charlatans, perchance? I say this with a fair degree of equanimity because, although I say it myself, and within its extremely specialised area, my CV is Kick Ass Hot. If you wanted to do what I do (and sometimes I wonder why anyone would) it reads pretty much like an A-Z of what to do to get there.

So why aren’t they battering down my door to offer me employment?


Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Why is it only that has no listen to facility in the music section. Every other one in the whole wide world does, so why not this one – are UK consumers unusually impulsive or something? It seems unlikely.

I need to get some new music – I'm bored of virtually everything I have. No-one listens to music anymore. Well hardly anyone. The last album that everyone I know bought was FBS – only Dr Heartbreak is reliably going out and spending his cash on new music. Jones, I am reliably informed, has had some kind of mental breakdown music wise and spends his time driving around with the roof down listening to either The Darkness or opera at maximum volume. He is surprised that people (and by people I mean everyone) keep flipping him off. Stev is caught in a Belle & Sebstian warp hole and as for my own listening habits of late . . . sheesh. Suffice it to say I've been listening to a lot of dance music and wondering what ever happened to ROCK!

I seem to have somehow been looking the other way when the whole latest wave of bands happened which is weird cos I love the Strokes & the Kills, but somehow I don’t feel connected with the scene – I don’t feel confident to talk about them like I could about Binary Finery or Deedrah or some other bunch of bedroom lurking sequencer tsars.

So what should I buy to revitalise myself? Tempted as I am to go and but The Essential Billy Bragg this can only be a negative step, surely. The last thing I can remember being really into was Nu-Metal and I don’t mean that in a mallcore, wearing a lot of baggy and refusing to do my homework way (ideally with S-L-I-P K-N-O-T biroed on my knuckles (can’t write with your other hand? – stick to K-O-R-N)) but more of a 'something you can really tap your foot to / jump up and down in a rather juvenile fashion' way . In fact an early returning flatmate once caught me jumping off the arm of the sofa whilst air drumming to to Blink 182's First Date. I was 31. Still – at least I'm younger than Fred Durst. AND ALWAYS WILL BE.

BTW – who the hell are Good Charlotte anyway?

Soundtrack : The Kills – Keep on Your Mean Side

I just ate a Topic bar, a confection I'm fairly sure I haven't eaten in approximately 20-25 years. It used to be advertised with the tag line "What’s got hazelnuts in ever bite" to which we fervently replied "squirrel shit".

This ad was also later adapted for the tormenting of a character called Simon Little with the new line being "Who wets the bed every Saturday night" (rhymes, see) although we never actually said this within his hearing as he was big and hard. The Topic bar was also briefly famous some years later for serving up a not inconsiderable number of mouse parts to an unsuspecting punter.

Anyway, it was delicious, much better than most bars, although admittedly a bit on the small side. Didn’t find any paws / tail either, which is always a bonus these days.

Fm1 is being particularly ditzy at the moment. Tried to explain to her that random text messages telling her 'she has won £5,000 and all she has to do is call this number' are not going to result in sudden riches, but she wasn’t having any of it. She actually left her name, details and out phone number and address on their poxy phone service. Cue a fucking tsunami of direct marketing calls and junk mail. At best. It's actually quite sweet to still be that naïve. Or maybe I'm just cynical. Actually I would prefer to be jaded than cynical. Likewise better to be bitter than sour. What’s the difference? – one implies negative personality traits due to over experience, the other due to lack thereof.

Soundtrack : The Donnas – Get Skintight

Tonight I'm drinkin' for two,
That’s all I learned in school.

Monday, February 09, 2004

I think I need treatment of some sort. The list below is just . . . awful. I've been toying with this for a couple of days, and at one point thought about not letting it go, but, well, what the hey. It was (very) vaguely inspired by badbunni post about (in part) what little freaks we all are given half a chance. So in the spirit of openness and good mental health I present to you :-

20 things that float Pan's boat, even though he knows by all that's right and proper they shouldn't. In increasing order of 'wrongness' ;-)

1) Suede boots
2) Grip top stockings
3) Tattoos
4) Freckles
5) Frosted pink lipstick
6) Sunbed tans
7) Ankle chains
8) Dirty nails
9) Camouflage combats
10) Jewellery in the bath
11) 'Pineapple' ponytails
12) White sweat pants
13) Female butchers
14) Flustered waitresses
15) Acne scars
16) Smokers
17) Speech impediments
18) Criminal records
19) Deafness
20) Bridal porn

You could be forgiven for assuming from the above list that I'm secretly attracted to women who are just a bit common. Or Liz Hurley. Or Wendy fucking James. Yikes!

Soundtrack : Apollo Four Forty - Gettin' High On Your Own Supply

Have just remembered a very long conversation I had with an Irish gypsy in the street at about 2am Saturday night coming back from buying cigs.

Salient facts I can remember

1) His daughter is getting married next week
2) He’d done time (3 years but I couldn’t understand what for exactly – something to do with his sister-in-law?)
3) He couldn’t read
4) I offered to teach him
5) Between us we smoked the majority of a packet of 20 Camel lights in an hour and a half. Ack. Yack.

Why do I get into these situations. I blame the demon drink. Still was a harmless enough way to pass an hour or two – in London it’s extremely rare to have conversations with strangers, especially at 2 in the morning, so there you go.

I'm reading the diaries and letters of Mikhail Bulgavok "Manuscript’s Don’t Burn" at the moment and as ever with such biographical material find myself strangely more interested in the peripheral rather than the central character. Bulgavok is egocentric certainly, almost a monster, but even he feels remorse about the way he treated his first wife, Tatyana Nikolayevna. I feel I want to know more about her than him.

Little is told about her story except that Bulgakov divorced her after their move to Moscow as it 'just suited him' to be able to say he was a bachelor. He told her that nothing would change, but this turned out to be less than true. Despite continuing to live together immediately following the divorce within a year he had abandoned her to fend for herself while he moved in with his second wife who was more in keeping with his new theatrical and literary friends. He eventually suffered such a guilty conscience that just before his death he tried to find her to ask forgiveness, only to discover she was uncontactable somewhere in Siberia.

In her photograph, (her resemblance to Amanda Peet is quite marked) she is looking off camera in a clearly posed portrait, yet there is something very still and calm about the composition. Her eyes are limpid and she is almost but not quite half smiling. I wonder when the picture was taken and what she was thinking, what became of her, did she even survive . . .

- - -

In the end I didn't do any tidying up at all this weekend but instead (predictably) lay on the sofa most of Saturday and indulged in 6½ solid bout of Halo. I met some of the kids for drinks at 7.30 and was very very jumpy. Sudden noises or movement in my peripheral vision kept startling me. Later we ate Japanese at Yoisho on Goodge Street and had some more late late drinks at a hotel bar in Fitzrovia. I spent slightly over £100. Shit.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Green Fairy writes : "If you cremate me, I'd like my ashes to be stuck in a kitchen bin for about a fortnight until no more rubbish can possibly be stuffed into it and you are forced extremely reluctantly and at arms length to change the bin. A most fitting tribute for such a slatternly housekeeper". Which made me laugh so much I nearly hovered a piece of apple into my lungs. This was part of a longer post about death and body disposal and the equally important question of how to ensure that should you croak unexpectedly someone will post a notice of deceasement on your blog so your regular readers don't keep coming back for months wondering why you stopped blogging, just when it was getting interesting.

Which reminds me – GF may claim to be a slovenly housekeeper but I currently Rule The School at this. Not too bad at kitchen / bathroom stuff but very bad at some other things. Been a bit sloppy lately and my desk is starting to resemble the aftermath of a howitzer attack – just endless, endless mounds of crap – forms, photos, crockery, dead computers, cds, pencils, plastic bags, books, dvds, socks, cartons of plastic straws, bronze pigs, defunct mobiles, packs of cards, pdas, flat batteries, you name it it's on there. Were I to suddenly croak it’d take someone a week just to wade through that bugger, never mind the rest. And there is a rest. Just acres of unfolded clothes and minging socks scattered about, elderly coffee mugs, half eaten pieces of toast, stacks of videos, a book midden – what’s wrong with me? I don’t actually like living in a pigsty but it’s got to the stage where I can’t face it any longer. So I ignore it and it gets worse. And worse. One day soon I’m just going to move into a different bedroom, paper over the door and make like it never existed.

So maybe, maybe, maybe this weekend is spring cleaning weekend. Get it all over with and start the New Year afresh. That sounds good - throw out all my old pornography and buy some new. YES!!

Alternatively I may just lie on the sofa playing Halo all weekend. Actually I have a problem already – The Captain has been injured so at my current save point The Covenant just have to look at him funny and he croaks and you have to start again. So far this has happened, like, 20 times. Guess I’ll just have to replay the whole level. Chuh!

- - -

Yesterday on the way to the theatre this girl was right on my tail all the way to The South Bank. At every interchange she’d be there somewhere – in front of me, next to me, behind me. She was noticeable because she had a cute ponytail and a limp. We finally parted ways coming off the pedestrian bridge at the Royal Festival Hall. Maybe she though I was stalking her.

Soundtrack : Aqua - Aquarium. I need special medicine to live, evidently :

I wish that I were a Bubble Yum,
chewing on me, baby, all day long
I will be begging for sweet delight,
until you say I'm yours tonight

Went to the theatre last night to see the first part of The Northern Lights. This is a big deal production for the Nash and you can see why – it's a big cast, both in numbers and names and the staging is very ambitious – outside of a west end or broadway musical you won’t see anything as technically complex. Lucky it's a sell out I guess. Fortunately I’m also enjoying it enormously. Second part tonight – I'm quite looking forward to it. My companions also tell me that Timothy Dalton as Lord Asriel is still well sexy. Looks like a bit of an old hack to me but what do I know?

Like everyone else I too have filled in the Where Have You Been? map thingy :-

What's clear is that I just haven't been many places - particularly places on my own doorstep. If I had to remedy this as fast as possible my emergency destinations would be Scandinavia & The Baltics.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004


Shit. I just realised that Valentine's Day is only 10 days away. By lucky happenstance it falls on the first day of my soon to be confirmed unemployment. Wank. On the plus side I may well be so sick due to alcoholic excess that I can blank out the whole day altogether with the help of Captain Percodan. Must remember to tell the wife to get some in. That was a wee joke BTW.

So – 10 days to find someone to go out with. I don't think I can be arsed actually. In fact I half a mind to spend the day helping Yip Yap move house. Again. Exactly a year, give or take a week or two, since she moved out of her flat and she's moving back in again. Exactly the same flat. Weird.

I so need to Sort My Life Out (SMLO).

Things to do to SMLO (in order)

1) Get a job
2) Get a girlfriend
3) Get a pension
4) Get a mortgage
5) Get married
6) Stop drinking
7) Have kids

Bugger me sideways with a rusty bargepole. While I have a strange urge to learn to comply and join my chums in their idylls of domestic bliss, when you look at it like that it seems, well, unbearable. I guess I’ll just have to resign myself to being a wild eyed loner gazing into the abyss of dysfunctional bankruptcy. In the words of the Immortal bard, the Master of Stratford-Upon-Avon : Fuck That Shit.

It's all well and good being some kind of free spirit in your twenties but try it in your thirties and people start to look at you funny, unless that is you have a lot of cash. Which I don't. Here’s my problem in a nutshell. I don’t want to be an outcast from society, mistrusted because of my childless ways and fondness for lager. I like society, I like being invited to things, I'm not a monster, Goddammit ;P !! However I don't want to buy totally into a society that requires a ruthless middle class compliance in all matters. I just can't do it. My Mum's going to be very disappointed.

Even if I wanted to I wouldn’t know how. Suppose I sat down and said: "yes, I want a wife, a mortgage and a couple of saucepan lids to round out the package" I still wouldn't be able to get it because I seem capable only of repelling the opposite sex these days. Can’t even get to first base, gosh darn it. Maybe they can sense my ambivalence / desperation . Actually I'd be quite happy to get married etc I just don't want to have to turn into Jones - The World's Smuggest Man™.

If I could get over this and find wherever the fuck it is that I left my Mojo I swear I’ll stop whining about it. So for the record the very next person I go out with (should that ever happen) I will ask to marry.

This is probably the root cause of ALL my problems. I just can’t take any of it seriously enough ;)

Soundtrack : The ramones – It’s Alive.

Tempted as I am to expound at length on Janet-Jackson-Justin-Timberlake-Boob- ExposureGate drivel-athon I’m not going to because JJ and her nipple cover are not on my list. In the great scheme of things this is just . . . nothing. It’s beyond incomprehensible why anyone is getting so uptight about this.

Halliburton is systematically enslaving the people of the Middle East and stealing from US taxpayers! Who Cares! The US deficit is the largest in history and about to get bigger! You’re boring me! Janet Jackson exposes a breast without even showing her nipple - Holy Fucking SHIT – my life is over, civilization is doomed! Kill the kids – their brains are tainted with filth and they must die immediately!

Of all the things in the world to get in a tizzy about this has to be about the least important, surely. Get a grip guys – people (well the BBC actually) are starting to notice that when you go off on one you look a bit nutty. After all, this comes from a country with a porn industry bigger than some countries GDP. [ Actually having just done a little research on this the figures are pretty hard to pin down with estimates for porn revenues at up to $14bn. I think a more reasonable figure puts annual US porn industry revenue somewhere about the $4bn mark and it could be considerably less. Either way that's a lot of money to spend on jerking off – if the US porn industry was a sovereign nation it would rank (according to the CIA) at no 160 out of 237 in terms of GDP (2001 figures). ]

This knee jerk 'I'm so outraged' reaction is homologous to a child sitting at the back of the classroom sniggering because teacher used the word 'uterus'. While this is to be expected, if somewhat tedious, in a 7 year old, if a kid is still doing it by the time they're 14 it’s just pathetic. Quite what one should make of a 221 year old nation and only world superpower doing the same is something of a quandary . . .

Alright, alright, I said at length OK?

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

A delightful weekend in the country.

For those who have never rented a Landmark property, and I believe there are many of you out there, take it from me; if you're not comfortable with being on the right side of middle class and just a trifle bit smug about it then you're going to have a really peculiar time. I am so it was OK. That is of course apart from the weather. Serious wind and even more serious rain; horizonatal driving rain through to just a fine drizzle, but I think it's reasonable to say it didn't stop bucketing down all weekend long at Woodside Priory.

This however was not really a drawback for me as it was never my intention to bestir myself all weekend long anyway. Probably more annoying for those with babies who no doubt wished to inculcate them in the ways of the British weekending classes. I.E. walking miles and miles to see a stone bench dedicated to the Culloden Society Re-enactment Festivel (1923), or similar. However this was ruled out of bounds as children, it was widely agreed, need to be at least 2½ before being able to really appreciate a 4 hour slog through horizontal sleet to look at an out of season car park.

And speaking of car parks Mac & I discovered a corker. Take Kewstoke road through Kewstoke and follow the road down the hill. Just as it bears to the right into Beach road, which runs behind the beach on Sandy Bay (no, really) take a left at The Commodore Pub & Bistro next to the convalescent home and you'll find a perfect little example; tussocks of grass, gravel, mysterious ditch for no good reason and nearby a nice ivy choked wooded escarpment, just perfect for the secretion and discovery of elderly jazz mags.

After we'd admired the view for a moment and noticed that every other car was also occupied by people attempting to peer through their streaming windscreens I took a quick stroll down to the sea and found :-

1) a rather nice rose quartz pebble
2) that the wind was so strong you could lean 20º into it
3) my left boot had developed a crack in the sole
4) that the wind had whipped the froth up off the sea to such an extent that where it hit the shallows the foam was snaking like Antarctic ice dust over the surface
5) a large turd from a seemingly rather ill dog, which I stood in.

As car parks go it totally wailed on the Weston-Super-Mare NCP Car Park.

Although a fine example of neo industrialist brutalism in a fetching shade of 'wee on grey concrete' the WSMNCPCP's charms were insufficient to hold our attentions long, a criticism which I fear may be reasonably levelled at Weston in general. Weston seems to consist chiefly of teashops, hobby shops, depressing guest houses (bagsy me stay at the 'Weston Rose - All Welcome') and scowling demoralised unhappy looking citizens. If anyone can enlighten me as to the purpose or function of the shop 'Daisies Don't Tell' which eluded me despite a full minute gazing in it's window, I will be in your debt. And as if that wasn't enough of a cross to bear already Weston's most famous son is of course Lord Archer of Lying Scumbag.

We did though take a turn along the wind blown seafront even though it was starting to rain heavily again. This was however done from the comfort of our cars. Oddly enough the sea at Weston was a raging, churning angry thing under a glowering sky and capped with foam and dancing sea horses. It was also yellow. While sensible counsel indicated that this was due to the amount of sand and silt that had been scooped up during 3 days of non stop grinding action Von A's answer felt truer : "It's yellow because it's full of shit."

Q. As your punishment for being an insufferably smug urban know-it-all the judge informs you that you are to be fitted with a David Blunkett Nicey-Nasty Elctroshock Tag™ and forced to open a 24 hour garage, video and general convenience store in a suburb of Weston Super Mare. It will be called "Cigs 'n' Things". Do you :-

a) Lock yourself in a coffin which is then thrown over a cliff.
b) Asphyxiate yourself quietly in a rusting Montego parked behind the forecourt at 3.13am.
c) Lock yourself in a coffin full of broken glass and catshit which is then thrown over a cliff.
d) Overdose on anti-depressants and prescription diet pills in the back of an unsold 4 berth caravan.
e) Lock yourself in a coffin full of broken glass and catshit which is first set on fire and then thrown over a cliff.
f) All of the above.

But apart from the slight inconvenience of it being rather wet and windy the weekend was very entertaining - good company, good food & booze and nothing to do most of the time except ensconce oneself on the sofa with the papers and read every last word written about that numpty Hutton. The priory itself was also amazing - comfortable, warm, and architecturally fascinating to boot with lovely open fires and a particularly lethal spiral stone staircase with a good sized chunk missing from one of the steps. In the true manner I managed to lose my balance and slop claret all over the wall, but nobody noticed after I'd given it a quick sponging down.

- - -

I'm soooo tired today. Dunno why, got plenty of sleep over the weekend, tho admittedly only 6 hours last night. Played quite a lot of Halo yesterday afternoon. I've had it for ages, but somehow never got into it, then at a loose end yesterday started playing again, and pretty blinding it is too. Am beginning to understand what all the fuss is about now. The graphics are just stunning, not least because you always have this amazing ringworld arc above your head. I need hardly add that this is a major trigger finger workout - it's cool when the cannon fodder aliens get scared and try to run away pleading innocence. Unfortunately the guys on your side sometimes do the same thing. Safe to say that everyone gets pretty much the same amount of mercy. ie NONE AT ALL. DIE ALIEN SCUM! ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!

How come you don't seem to see so many games outside the Sim / God genre where you have to win people's hearts and minds etc instead of killing them / pounding them into a quivering jelly / humiliating them in the eyes of their pagan Gods? I mean good games - none of yer suitable for the weenies rubbish. Having said that the Sim / God genre is pretty big, and after you add simulators and the odd puzzle based game there's quite a bit of entertainment for the non psychotic.

Back in the Sega Megadrive days Sonic didn't kill things either - he just used to liberate the fluffy forest creatures from their robot enslavement. Sonic 2 rocked my world (and a great many other people's) big styleee. Plus there was Ecco The Dolphin. This underwater epic was actually rather boring to play but fantastic to watch while you were relaxing sprawled out on the sofa - soothing music, dolphin echo noises, a spot of light flippering about and the subliminal sound of the surf. Mmmmmm . . . dude . . .

There's a PS2 version but I never heard if it was any good or not . . .