It's coming... o v e r y o u r h e a d . . .


Crawling through technology, life and love

Contact me:
hotmail
home


Listening:

Playing:
Pool Paradise - GC on Wii

iTuning:
Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry

Reading:
All 24 25 Tintin books

Bits and Bobs:
Wish List
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Minipops Quiz

Sites I like:
Marc Almond
Top 40 Singles
News
IMdb
The Register
Hacks
Recent GBlogs
Arsenal FC

Some blogs I enjoy:
bboyblues2000
bitful
blogadoon
brainsluice
chig
groc
minkered
scally
sparky
troubled diva

Books recently read:
Time Out Guide to Havana (and Cuba)
And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks - William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
At My Mother's Knee ... and Other Low Joints: The Autobiography - Paul O'Grady
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
My Booky Wook - Russell Brand
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
Then We Come To The End - Joshua Ferris
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas
I Never Knew That About London - Christopher Winn
The Arsenal Miscellany - Adam Gold
Young Hearts Run Free: The Real Story of the 1970s - Dave Haslam
Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
Veronika Decides To Die - Paulo Coelho
Time Out Guide - Amsterdam
Lillian's Story - Kate Grenville
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Schott's Original Miscellany - Ben Schott
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
A Gay History Of Britain - Matt Cook
Time Out Guide to Madrid
Time Out Guide to New York
Kingdom Come - J. G. Ballard
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
Mutants - Aramand Marie Leroi
A Young Man's Passage - Julian Clary
Growing Pains - Billie Piper
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
Highbury: The Story of Arsenal N.5 - Jon Spurling
Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett
Affinity - Sarah Waters
Lighthousekeeping - Jeanette Winterson
Tipping The Velvet - Sarah Waters
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Of Human Bondage - W Somerset Maugham
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Lucky Man - Michael J Fox
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
The Pedant's Revolt - Andrea Barham
The Republic Of Trees - Sam Taylor
Written On tbe Body - Jeanette Winterson
Untold Stories - Alan Bennett
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
Read All About It - Max Clifford
The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst
Thursbitch - Alan Garner
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
Staying Alive - Matt Beaumont
The Bookseller Of Kabul - Asne Seierstad
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J K Rowling
A Short History Of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Count Karlstein - Philip Pullman
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Spell - Alan Hollinghurst
The Double Life Of Daniel Glick - Maurice Caldera
The Smoking Diaries - Simon Gray
Straight- Boy George
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Deception Point - Dan Brown
The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Sydney - Time Out Guide
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Eleanor Rigby - Douglas Coupland
The Scarecrow and His Servant - Philip Pullman
Tha Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Planet Simpson - Chris Turner
The Line Of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
Barcelona - Time Out Guide
The Closed Circle - Jonathan Coe
The Clerkenwell Tales - Peter Ackroyd
Copenhagen - TimeOut Guide
The Butterfly Tattoo - Philip Pullman
The Broken Bridge - Philip Pullman
In Search of the Pleasure Palace - Marc Almond
Brick Lane - Monica Ali
Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr
You Shall Know Our Velocity - Dave Eggers
Touching The Void - Joe Simpson
Life Of Pi - Yann Martel
Istanbul - Time Out Guide
Millennium People - J G Ballard
The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down - Jesse Browner
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Our Man In Havana - Graham Greene
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman
Doran - Will Self
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
the book, the film, the t-shirt - matt beaumont
High Society - Ben Elton
Man And Wife - Tony Parsons
I Was A Rat - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix - J R Rowling
Great Apes - Will Self
Barrel Fever - David Sedaris
Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawkes
Close Range - Annie Proux
The Third Way - Anthony Giddens
dot.con - John Cassidy
The Salmon of Doubt - Douglas Adams
One Hit Wonderland - Tony Hawkes
The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Cloud Sketcher - Richard Rayner
Keane: the Autobiography - Roy Keane
A Wasteland of Strangers - Bill Pronzini
The English - Jeremy Paxman
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Toby Young
Dead Famous - Ben Elton
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman (again)
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Bear and The Dragon - Tom Clancy
101 Reykjavik - Hallgrimur Helgason
Forward The Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Carter Beats The Devil - Glen David Gold
The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Tiger In The Well - Philip Pullman
The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
Generation X - Douglas Copeland
Perfume - Patrick Suskind
All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland
The Shadow In The North - Phillip Pullman
No Logon - Naomi Klein
The Dirt - Motley Crue
Miss Wyoming - Douglas Coupland
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman
The Ruby in the Smoke - Phillip Pullman
The Sandman - Miles Gibson
Blood and Gold: The Vampire Marius - Anne Rice
The Actrocity Exhibition - J G Ballard
Shameless - Paul Burston
Sing Out! - Boze Hadleigh
Brilliant Orange - David Winner
New Boy - William Sutcliffe
London - Peter Ackroyd
Wonder Boys - Michael Chabon
One For My Baby - Tony Parsons
How To Be Good - Nick Hornby
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Lust - Geoff Ryman
Tulip Fever - Deborah Moggach
Dead Souls - Ian Rankin
The House Of Sleep - Jonathan Coe
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
What a carve up! - Jonathan Coe
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Heartwood - James Lee Burke
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Man and Boy - Tony Parsons
The Map Of Love - Ahdaf Soueif
e - Matt Beaumont
The e Before Christmas - Matt Beaumont


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Thursday, March 29, 2001
I'm not here...
I haven't got time to blog today. Tube strike. 2 hours to get into work. Leaving in a few minutes to try and get to the airport in time for my flight this afternoon. Arrrrrse!


Wednesday, March 28, 2001
Hooray, horray, it's a holi- holiday...
Tomorrow I'm off to Amsterdam for four days. There's eight of us going. Christopher, Stuart (it's his birthday), Tony, Gordon, Philip, Mike and Marky. The flights are booked, the tickets are here, the hotel is waiting, the party favours are arranged, the boyz are lined up. We are going to rip the place apart. Can't wait.


Adjective Names...
David was talking about nicknames a couple of days ago and his misnomer "Tall Dave". Well at least he has an adjective attached to his name that isn't too offensive. I mean it's hard to be offended by being called "Tall". I have a much worse one.

When you're young, your parents give you your first name. It's only in later life you get given your 'adjective name'. And usually you're the last to know (if you ever find out at all). Adjective names are often flattering "Gorgeous Tony", "Sexy Pete". They can be simply descriptive; "Essex Simon", "Little Steve". Or they can be alarmingly frank (and sometimes cruel); "Big Nose James" or "Acne Kurt".

Last year we were planning a birthday trip for my friend Sarah. Her husband Ben and I sitting in their sitting room (as you do) calling round our circle of friends to see who fancied a weekend away on Dartmoor at a Landmark Trust place. I stepped out of the room to grab a couple of beers from the kitchen. Just as I was walking back into the sitting room I heard something that shocked me to my core.

Ben had been making a final phone call to one of Sarah's less close friends and was trying to persuade her to come for the weekend. "Everyone will be there", he was saying. "You know. Sarah, me, Mark and Jonathan". "Jonathan?", she must have said, "which Jonathan?" Ben said, "You know. Camp Jonathan."

I froze. I'd stumbled upon my adjective name and I was in shock. "Camp?", I shrieked. "CAMP?! Who are you calling camp?" soon realising I was rapidly flapping about like a quintessential camp thing.

Count yourself lucky with "Tall", David!

(this posting is reprinted here by kind permission of me)


Tuesday, March 27, 2001
Around my ears...
Tried to blog twice today but my wretched PC keeps crashing so I'll keep it short. Finally finished reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Was a great book till the end - thanks for the loan of it iansie (I used that name because Ian's paid good money for that nickname/domain name, I think the least we should do is pretend to use it every now and again). Pop Quiz tonight. Meeting David for a drink and to chew the fat and see Marc's photos in First Out. Should be fun.


Monday, March 26, 2001
Strange Days...
In the last week I've done three strange things. Strange for me that is.
On Tuesday I gave all the money I had on me (£7.62) to a man in the street who said his Landrover had run out of petrol.
Why is that strange?: It was midnight in a deserted street with no obvious sign of a vehicle in sight; I have no sympathy for drivers stranded or otherwise (I work for an oil company, for fecks sack!); he wasn't even cute.
On Sunday I did something my mother warned me against - I accepted sweets from a stranger.
Why is that strange?: It was 7am in Trade; I don't like sweets; he wasn't cute either.
On Friday I turned down doing something with somebody (modesty prevents me saying it here).
Why is that strange?: I don't normally need to be asked twice; he wanted me to do it; he was cute. Very.
My world is upsidedown at the moment.


Friday, March 23, 2001
"Yabba dabba... d'oh!"
William Hanna is dead. Here is a full list of his TV cartoons. Some I remember, some I don't. But Wally Gator, Josie and The Pussycats and, of course, Hong Kong Phoney are all close to my heart.

1957 The Ruff & Ready Show Premiere
1958 The Huckleberry Hound Show and Pixie & Dixie Premiere
1959 Auggie Doggie & Doogie Daddy, Quick Draw McGraw and Snooper & Blabber Premiere
1960 Yakky Doodle & Yogi Bear Premiere, The Flintstones Premieres On Primetime Television, Hokey Wolf and Snagglepuss Premiere
1961 Top Cat Premiere
1962 Lippy The Lion, Touche Turtle & Wally Gator Premieres and The Jetsons Premiere
1964 Magilla Gorilla, Peter Potamus, Richochet Rabbit, Breezly & Sneezly, Punkin Puss, Yippe, Yappee & Yahooey & The Adventures Of Jonny Quest Premieres
1965 Precious Pupp, The Hillbilly Bears, Secret Squirrel, Squiddly Diddly, Winsome Witch, Sinbad Jr., and Laurel & Hardy Premiere
1966 Space Kidettes, The Space Ghost, Dino Boy, Frankenstein Jr., and The Impossibles Premiere
1967 Abbott & Costello, The Herculoids, Samson & Goliath, The Fantastic Four Moby Dick, The Mighty Mightor, Birdman, The Galaxy Trio and Shazzan Premiere
1968 The Three Musketeers, The Arabian Knights, The Micro Ventures, The Adventures Of Gulliver, and The Wacky Races Premiere
1969 The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop, The Cattanooga Cats, Motormouse & Autocat, Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, Dastardly & Muttley In Their Flying Machines and Around The World In 79 Days Premiere
1970 Where's Huddles?, The Harlem Globetrotters and Josie & The Pussycats Premiere
1971 Pebbles & Bamm Bamm, Help! Its The Hair Bear Bunch!, and The Funky Phantom Premiere
1972 Sealab 2020, Roman Holidays, Amazing Chan & The Chan Clan, and Wait Till Your Father Gets Home Premiere
1973 Jeannie, Speed Buggy, The Addams Family, Goober & Ghost Chasers, Inch High Private Eye, Butch Cassidy & The Sun Dance Kids, Superfriends and Peter Puck Premiere
1974 Hong Kong Phooey, These Are The Days, Devlin, Valley Of The Dinosaurs, Wheelie & The Chopper Bunch and Partridge Family: 2200 A.D. Premiere
1975 The Great Grape Ape Premieres
1976 Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, Jabberjaw, Mumbly and Clue Club Premiere
1977 The C.B. Bears, Shake, Rattle & Roll,Undercover Elephant, Heyyyyy, It's The King, Wonder Wheels, Blast Off Buzzard, Captain Caveman & The Teen Angels and Posse Impossible Premiere
1978 The Three Robonic Stooges, The Galaxy Goof-Ups, The Galloping Ghost, The Buford Files, Godzilla, Jana Of The Jungle, The All-New Popeye Hour and Dinky Dog Premiere
1979 The New Shmoo, The Super Globetrotters, Casper & The Angels, The Thing and Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Premiere
1980 Drak Pack, Fonz & The Happy Days Gang and Richie Rich Premiere
1981 Astro & The Space Mutts, Teen Force, Crazy Claws, Kwicky Koala, Dirty Dawg, The Bungle Brothers, The Smurfs, Lavern & Shirley, Private Olive Oyl and The Trollkins Premiere
1982 Mork & Mindy, The Little Rascals, Pac-Man, Shirt Tales and The Gary Coleman Show Premiere
1983 The Dukes, Monchhichis and The Biskitts Premiere
1984 The Snorks, The Pink Panther & Sons and Challenge Of The GoBots Premiere
1985 Paw Paws and Galtar & The Golden Lance Premiere
1986 Pound Puppies, Wildfire and Foofur Premiere
1987 Sky Commanders and The Flintstone Kids Premiere


Competitive streak...
I think I have finally found the bit of the human generic make-up that controls the competitve streak. Let me know if you want to be "modified".


Park Wars...
If you like Star Wars (I do) and you like South Park (I do) they've made a parody movie called Park Wars that's quite amusing.
Also you can watch the trailers and/or get the latest info on loads of upcoming films here. Star Wars II, Planet of the Apes, The Mummy Returns, A.I, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter etc.


As if...
The other really good TV programme on at the moment is As if... on Channel Four 6pm Wednesday & Thursday during the week and Sunday omnibus. The gay policeman is a dish.


TV heaven...
There is some good TV on tonight. TOTP, Friends, Spaced, Frasier, So:Graham Norton, Flashdance (go girl!), The Bitch (love that film), Staying Alive (directed by who!!???? surely not!), Six Degrees of Separation (fab film) etc . So why am I going out? Oh yes, it's Christopher New's birthday bash and we're gonna rip the town up. I need it.


Muck and Brass…
Madonna’s new video What It Feel’s Like For A Girl is fab. Thanks to David for the link.
Geri Halliwell’s “new” single It’s Raining Men is shit. Thanks to Geri for that crap.


Thursday, March 22, 2001
Not good news...
The vet just called. Oliver's X-rays are back. Definitely cancer. Bone tumour on his spine: Lymphoma or Osteosarcoma. Palliative care: High dose of steroids and lots of snuggling.


Betrayal...
I had to take Oliver to the vet again last night. His backlegs are getting much worse though he still doesn't seem to be in any distress. Just a bit frustrated that his legs aren't doing what they should. The vet suggested taking an X-ray to see if it could help with the diagnosis so I starved him overnight and took him back again this morning. He's due to be given his general at about 10am and then the vet will call me about 10:30am if she finds anything that could be treated straight away i.e. something mechanical she can operate to fix. If it's something more serious such as a tumour the vet will call me and ask whether I want him to be put to sleep. The final option is give him palliative care. Put him on steroids to try and beef him up a bit and improve his quality of life.

How I'm feeling about it is some else again. I can't tell you how much this is upsetting me. I can't think of anything else. I'm not doing any work. I've had arguments with people at work, on the tube and at home (sorry Mark). Some friendships are deteriorating (sorry David). I've been having long conversations with people at work, my parents and Mark. I cried myself to sleep last night. I woke up at 5am this morning and lay in bed with a knot in my stomach. I thought it might be stress. It's true what they say about stress comes from things you can't control. But I do have some control over this. So it's not stress I'm feeling. I could control this. I could tell the vet to put Oliver to sleep. I think what I'm feeling is sad. Sad that my beloved cat is probably soon going to die. Ever since I first got him as a kitten, Oliver and I have been devoted to each other. He follows me around the flat. Sits on me at every opportunity. Puts his paws around me when I sleep and trusts me with his life. Ironic then that I feel as I am soon to betray that trust. Just writing this bringing me to tears again so I shall stop.


Wednesday, March 21, 2001
Timewasters please...
*Please say hello to FootieLiar:I'll have a hot chat with you, tell you I desperately want to meet up. Then, when it comes to the time of our meeting, I'll call you and say I'm going to see a mate of mine and that we're going to watch the football match all evening, so I can't meet up after all. I'm really a lying wanker; I never intended to meet up in the first place, because I'm such a coward, but the football idea seemed better than telling the truth! - an extract from a cyber play by Marc Ashley-Wood. Worth a look as some bits are very funny. We've been there haven't we, Ian? Thanks to Mark for the link.


S Drug 7...
The three boys from S Drug 7 Bradley McIntosh, Paul Cattermole and Jon Lee were all found carrying cannabis in London's West End. Way to go boys! "There Ain't No Party Like An S Club Party!" Apparently. After Miami 7 and LA 7 I guess we can expect Amsterdam 7.
"You're my CK-one"
"Roach For The Stars"


Tuesday, March 20, 2001
The worst crime...
Went to see "New Boy" on Sunday. Too gay and cast not cute enough. The worse crime.


When things are going bad at work...
I really wasn't in the best of moods on my way to work this morning. Still tired from the weekend and I'd got some depressing news at work yesterday, but let's go into that now. I was sitting on the tube ploughing through (and really enjoying) my book (see left side panel) when I read this: "There is only one sure means in life of ensuring that you are not ground into paste by disappointment, futility, and disillussion. And that is to always ensure, to the utmost of your ability, that you are doing it solely for the money." Well that cheered me up no end so thanks to Michael Chabon for that. Or as we used to say at college; "Could be worse. Could be dead."


Monday, March 19, 2001
You've got to put your hours in...
Thursday started drinking at 7pm
Friday started drinking at 5pm
Saturday started drinking at 4pm
Sunday started drinking at 1pm
Monday keeping head down. Why don't we have duvet days yet?


Saturday, March 17, 2001
Penultimate Night in Sodom...
Last night the second Soft Cell gig at Ocean was more polished than the previous night and much more enjoyable for it. Five extra songs (one of them new) in the central section of the running order helped to flesh out the evening from sixty minutes to a ninety minutes. If you're going tonight don't watch the final encore though. Why? Well, on the projector screens over the bar they show the banned Sex Dwarf video. I had never seen it and it's bloody fantastic! Everyone is dressed in leather and bondage gear and throwing around raw meat and rolling around with dwarves and strippers and prostitues. It's a scream.
The complete running order then is:-
Memorabilia
Monoculture (new song - probable new album title)
Forever The Same
Divided Soul (new song)
Last Chance (new song)
Youth
Baby Doll
Best Way To Kill
The Art Of Falling Apart
Somebody Somewhere Sometime (new song)
Torch
Bedsitter
Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go?
Say Hello Wave Goodbye (as 1st encore)
Martin (as 2nd encore)
Sex Dwarf (as 2nd encore)


Friday, March 16, 2001
Job satisfaction...
I could get used to this


How gay are you...?
Dreadful program great quiz. I'm 61% - what that means I have no idea.


Question of the day...
What have the Tory Party and the Wombles got in common?


She said...
"You're not that old", a secretary said to me in the office today. I said nothing but my returning smile was...


...like the false laugh of a thousand Art House patrons.


What? WHAT?!...
I was just heating up my BGTY meal in the microwave when I co-worker Tom came into the kitchen. "What are you up to tonight," he says noticing that I'm dressed head to foot in black. "I'm going to see Soft Cell," I said. "Who?", he said. He's 23 years old and he has never, I mean never, heard of Soft Cell. I am now officially OLD.


Last Night (in Sodom)...
The 17 years wait was over. Last night I went to Ocean to see Soft Cell. They were tremendous. Some new songs some old songs. More details later when my hangover subsides (did I mention there were free drinks all night?)

Back again (Nurofen has kicked in). Ocean is a fantastic venue, not too big, not too small - it reminds me of the Mean Fiddler in Harlsden. You can dance downstairs as there is no seating to get in your way. The flythrough doesn't do it justice. Soft Cell were amazing. Marc dressed in black, looking thin as a rake and white as a sheet. He camped and vamped across the stage with the confidence of the diva that he is - never letting the night stoop to the level of glorified karaoke. Dave Ball stoood behind his equipment looking a bit lost. The memories of the early 80s all came flooding back each time you recognised the opening chords of the next song. The running order was:-

Memorabilia
Monoculture (new song - very Soft Cell)
Forever The Same (3 hour version!)
Divided Soul (new song - nice)
Last Chance (new song - David's comment "Meet Me In My Dreams" with knobs on is about right)
Torch
Bedsitter
Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go?
Say Hello Wave Goodbye
Sex Dwarf (as an encore)

Marc was a Fabulous Star thoughout. My dad was right though. All he needs is tits.


Thursday, March 15, 2001
Gone West...
The leatherman from the Village People has died, aged 50. Glenn Hughes was a toll collector at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel until he auditioned for the San Francisco band on a dare. Glenn was a big fan of dancing, computers, motorcycles and roller skating. He was buried in his "leatherman" biker clothes. I have fond memories of all of the Village People but especially the Leatherman. All I can say is "Young Man, I was once in your shoes".


The Evil Empire (again)...
In what CEO Bill Gates called "an unfortunate but necessary step to protect our intellectual property from theft and exploitation by competitors," the Microsoft Corporation patented the numbers one and zero on Monday.

And in related news...
Determined to circumvent Justice Department action forestalling the release of his powerful new operating system, Microsoft CEO and evil genius Bill Gates dropped Windows 98, coded into liquid form, into New York City's water supply sometime this past weekend.


More pooh humour...
Toilets. They are a refuge. Trans-cubicle communication is frowned upon, short of an appreciative laugh after a meaty trump from your neighbour. Certainly, passing little notes through under the wall would test a man's broad-mindedness as he opens the cargo doors. But, why not slip a note under the door just to see if you have a meeting of minds?
Try:-
- Are you alone?
- Do you need any more toilet roll?
- Phoar, was that you?
- Call that a plop?
- Can you call a doctor, please?
- Would you mind if I got on my hands and knees and tried to undo your shoelaces?
- I'm drunk. Are you?
- I'm on my fifteenth wipe! My arsehole is really beginning to smart. I think more stuff keeps coming out between wipes. I'm beginning to panic. Any suggestions?
Thanks to disappointment.com.


Coke is it...
"Common commodities such as honey and sodium bicarbonate, acidic fruit juices and oils have been used through history as spermicides. Three Harvard researchers note that Coca-Cola is said to be favoured for this purpose in some developing countries and was touted in Western world folklore as a contraceptive aid in years gone by. No documentation of the soft drink's spermicidal capabilities was found, so Dr. Sharee Umpierre and two colleagues decided to test Coke in some of its various formulations in their lab. They found that Diet Coke was a most effective spermicide and the original formula Coke was also quite effective, five times more so than the reformulated "new" Coke. "Although not recommended for postcoital contraception, partly because sperm can be found in the oviducts within minutes after intercourse, Coca-Cola products do appear to have a spermicidal effect," the researchers found. "Furthermore, our data indicate that at least in the area of spermicidal effect, 'Classic' Coke is it." Thanks to the New England Journal of Medicine for this invaluable information.


Yummy, yummy, yummy I've got love in my tummy...
There are lots of urban legends. Especially about rock stars. I first heard this one when it was circulating about Marc Almond and he's still trying to live it down. There are lots more urban legends here though. I especially like the rumour that the Peter, Paul & Mary tune "Puff, the Magic Dragon" is a coded song about marijuana. Not true, but who cares, don't let facts get in the way of a good rumour.
Here are some more myths (mainly false):-
Neil Armstrong:
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" and "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky!"
Mariah Carey:
"When I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean, I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."
Larry Ellison:
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison delivered an unusual commencement address to the Yale class of 2000.
Michael Faraday:
Scientist Michael Faraday told the prime minister the usefulness of his invention was that 'someday you can tax it.'
Lauryn Hill:
"I would rather die than have a white person buy one of my albums."
Monica Lewinsky:
"I've learned not to put things in my mouth that are bad for me."
Elvis Presley:
"The only thing a nigger can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes."
"Stick with driving a truck, because you're never going to make it as a singer."
Elvis Presley's backup singers walked out on a concert after his racist remark that their breath "smelled like catfish."


Corker...
A farmer decides one day that we fancies doing an experiment on one of his pigs. He thinks it might be fun to see how big his pig will grow if he shoves a cork up it's bum to stop it shitting and then feed it lots of food. To help with the task be buys a monkey and sets about training it to insert a cork into the pig's arse. All goes well with the training and the day of the trial arrives. The pig is tethered to a stake in the middle of the farmer's field and the monkey presented with the cork. The monkey firmly inserts the cork up the pig's bum and the pig starts eating all the food it's given. By the end of the first day the pig has put on quite a lot of weight and the farmer is quite satisfied. Day two comes and the experiment continues with the pig eating more and more food. The pig swells bigger and bigger as the backlog of shit builds up. The pigs keeps eating vast amounts of food for the rest of that week - and then the following week too. After nearly a month the pig is so full of shit it has swollen to the size of a huge pink hot air balloon with too little eyes, four little trotters, a curly tail and one big cork. The farmer decides the experiment has gone far enough and asks all the local villagers to come and watch the monkey take the cork out. Sure enough the crowds assemble in the surrounding fields. On the stroke on noon the farmer gives the monkey his cue to pull out the cork. There's a huge explosion of shit in all directions. The people who are standing nearest to the pig are completely buried over their heads in pig shit. Even people standing much further away in the next field are up to their waists in the brown smelly stuff. Some distance away in the next-but-one field the devastation isn't quite so bad. Still it's deep enough to cover everyone's ankles. Now in this field is one of the farmer's neighbours and he's standing there laughing and laughing and laughing. "What have you got to laugh about", says the farmer, "your boots are all covered in pig shit." The neighbour says, "I don't mind about that, but you ought to have seen the monkey trying to put the cork back in!"


Wednesday, March 14, 2001
Pooh to you...
“This writing business, pencils and what-not is overrated. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.” ~Eeyore
I tend to agree but still spend my whole day rattling off missives.


Top of The Pop Quiz...
We WON! We WON! We WON! Well, to be honest we didn't win but we did bloody well. 18/20. Last night It looked like I was going to be the original "Billy-no-mates". No David, no Dave, no Ian, no Darren, no Karl, no Adam, no Nikki, no chance. I was sad old team-of-one. There's nothing like being in a crowded, for it was crowded, pub on your own. Everyone else had friends and team-mates to chat laugh and play with. I was standing in the middle looking lost. Then all that changed. Wendy the fabulous landlady spotted me and after a mwah, mwah on each cheek said, "On your own? Where's your lot then?" "All sick", I said. She looked at me quizically and made the drinky-drinky motion. I made the noddy-noddy motion. "We'd better find you someone to play with then." She scooped me up and after considering and then rejecting the idea of pairing me with Peter "one-of-seven" Borg she spotted two friends of her's who obviously must have owed her a big, big favour. I was duly introduced to Corinne and Jane and perched on the end of their table. I felt a bit like a foster child meeting new parents. Will they like me? Will they ignore me? Will they resent me? As it happened we got on famously. Turns out they're coming to Soft Cell on Friday at Ocean too. DJ Lush was feeling a bit under the weather i.e. hungover from a party the night before. Wendy announced this to everyone over the PA and said that she had been to a Shalamar party the previous evening. I chipped in, "You can tell she made It A Night To Remember!" People were throwing-up with laughter I can tell you... OK, it got a laugh. The quiz itself was along similar lines to one a few weeks ago about film actors. In this one though when you hear a song or two you then have to piece together the name of a children's TV show. The clues could be a word or part of the title of the song, the band or the band members. It was great fun. Examples Metal Guru by T. Rex + Mickey by Toni Basil = Metal Mickey, Hong Kong Garden by S & the Bs + The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and News = Hong Kong Phooey (ouch!) and the rather obvious What Is Love? by Howard Jones = How. It got worse though. Motorbiking by Chris Spedding + Into the Groove by Madonna = Byker Grove (double-ouch!). We all had great fun with lots of booing and hissing at the bad puns. Generally they were all pretty easy. As you can see from our score we tripped up on two though. It's Only Rock and Roll But I Like It by The Rolling Stones + Firestarter by The Prodigy foxed us as did Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers + I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats. Answers on a postcard...


Tuesday, March 13, 2001
Come on down...
The worst kind of Hell is when it's self-induced. You have to suffer all of the pain and but get none of the sympathy. You can spot the "weekenders" in our office. Come Tuesdays they're all having stand-up rows with the receptionist over their paper clip allocation or the trying to get the maintenance guy sacked over his "attitude" problem. The girl in the office next to me only slams her door on Tuesdays. Funny that.


Quick Quiz...





Top Of The Pops...
Watching Marc Almond on So:Graham Norton last night brought back some memories of when we were kids.
Come Thursday night it was Top Of The Pops. It was always must-see TV. My brother, my sister and I just had to watch it. In those pre-MTV days it was the only way you could see your favourite band or singer. We didn't buy Smash Hits or NME so we didn't know what bands looked like until they appeared on TOTP. To this day my Dad still claims he never watched it. Yet every Thursday he seemed to find himself on the sofa in the sitting-room hiding behind his newspaper pretending to read. We three would be sitting on the carpet glued to set in silence. He would try to remain silent but just couldn't. Parents always need to let you know that they disapprove of someting and my Dad was no different. He had three ways of doing it when watching TOTP. Number one: If someone appeared on the show whose hair was too long or too short or they were wearing clothes that he considered too strange we'd get a brief rustling of the paper. Number two: If he thought the song being played had no tune or was too loud he'd simply tut. Number three: If the band was making crude or sexual inuendo by way of lyrics or dance he'd cough loudly. Combinations of tuttting, rustling and coughing became such a integral part of watching TOTP that we three soon learnt to block them out completely.
One certain Thurday though it was different. Tainted Love was a smash hit and everyone was talking about it at school. Soft Cell were due to appear on Top Of The Pops for the first time and we all had to wait for near the end of the show to see who they were. We three kids waited with baited breath as the familiar opening bars of Tainted Love started. And suddenly there he was. Dressed in black with (horror of horrors) makeup on. Only women wear makeup we thought. And he had enough eyeliner to sink a battleship. He was thin, pale and hitting all the wrong notes. We loved it. Marc Almond had come into our lives. Strangely throughout the song we didn't hear a peep out of my Dad. The song had finished but we had heard no tutting, no paper rustling and ceratinly no coughing. Perhaps Dad had missed it, being too engrossed in something he was reading. Perhaps we quite liked it after all. Perhaps we secretly admired that little waif, that little stray, that little diva. But oh no. He'd seen it alright. He was just trying to find the words. Trying to think of what to say. And then he did. He said it. Almost as a matter of fact. "All that man needs is tits!" We all laughed.


Monday, March 12, 2001
Turn your speakers up for this...
Roll up, roll up. Cure your hangover instantly! You can see what great shape you're in. No problem.
I could get used to this


The Evil Empire...
So your word propcessor has just crashed again. Let me tell you why.
I could get used to this


I love a big opening...
Not only am I going to see Soft Cell this week :-)
I'm going to see them three times! :-))
And I'm going to the launch party of Ocean :-)))
I could get used to this


And now, Local News...
As I've been all but house-bound the last few days I've taken to reading the free local newspapers that drop through my letterbox. These organs would normally get chucked straight in the bin but when you've got time on your hands you'll read anything. Among all the adverts for local shops and taxi firms and the numerous pages of houses and flats for sale or let are those strange pieces of local news that you rarely get a chance to see anywhere else. Whether they are made up or real I have no idea. Here are a couple of examples that caught my eye.

Collecting Pokemon cards is now considered passé for many lslington primary school kids, who have outgrown the expensive Japanese cartoon characters and have a preference, instead, for swapping free prostitute cards from public telephone boxes. According to an lslington Gazette report, prostitutes have fled crackdowns in areas such as King’s Cross and headed tdwards lslington, attracting trade with their lurid X-rated cards. Concerns about the problem have reached government level, and legislation is expected soon to make “carding” a criminal offence. Spoil sports. All I needed was "Busty French Polisher" to complete my set.

Poilice were called to restore order after offers of a telly for 99p sparked mayhem. Bargain hunters camped outside a new 99p Stores outlet in Seven Sisters Road, Holloway, in sub-zero temperatures after managers pledged to sell TVs and videos for less than a quid. But by the 10am opening times things had got out of hand when a crowd of several hundred began jostling for position. Worried staff managers had to call for police to maintain order. Karim Lalani, chief executive of 99p Stores, said: "This is our first store - hence we did not realise just how enthusiastic people would be for this offer. We will do it differently next time." Oh really? Apparently they had just one TV to sell for 99p. Sound like canny marketing.


Friday, March 09, 2001
The great ennui...
As Satre said: "I think they do that to pass the time, nothing more. But time is too large, it refuses to let itself be filled up." The dreadful burden of having nothing to do. I think my intellectual wheels are spinning in the dirt.


I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired...
At home (again) today. Still too ill to go to work.
- Logged into work e-mail, read the interesting ones from friends and ignored all the work ones with a clear conscience. Ha, ha. Hee, hee. F**k 'em!
- Downloaded tracks from Napster and imagined the compilations I could make but never did it because I'm too damned lazy. I just hate myself.
- Listened to the long version of Total Eclipse by Rosenstolz (feat. Marc Almond) eleven times in a row. Campy, a bit like Army of Lovers. I love it.
- Flicked through 70 channels of digital TV shit and managed to keep up with the plot of 6 soap operas, 1 real opera, 2 chat shows and 5 films all at once. Crap TV is the thief of time.


Thursday, March 08, 2001
Let he who is without sin...
We were in a restaurant the other day trying to remember what the seven deadly sins are. There were six of us and we just couldn't get them right. Thanks then to Carl for sending them to me today with a nice link too.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony and Lust
The Seven Heavenly Virtues: Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Justice, Temperance and Prudence
Why not take a Lust test and see how you rate?
You can also vote for what you think the Eight Deadly Sin should be. My favourite is that it should be a deadly sin to "create Web pages that when printed fill up an entire sheet and then one line of a new sheet."


I'm still ill...
Brave soldier that I am I struggled into work yesterday. This is despite having a viciously sore throat, a throbbing headache caused by congestion and that kind of all-over aching feeling that only comes with either Grade A hangovers or a particular nasty virus. It's the latter I think I have. By early afternoon I'd had enough and tottered on home to my sick bed, which is where I've been ever since. At least I can still blog from here. I think I'll take Nurse Sim's advice which is if you're ill write a long blog and you'll feel better.


Wednesday, March 07, 2001
It's a sad day...
For Napster but why not try Gnutella, Rapigator or Imesh?


Rolling back the years...
We didn't do very well last night at the Pop Quiz. 14 out of 20. I'm crap at "what's the year?" type questions. And guess what every question in last night's quiz was?
Have a go and see how you do. Every track was a UK number one. You just have to say the year it reached the top of the charts.
01. I Should Be So Lucky: Kylie
02. Maggie May: Rod Stewart
03. The Power: Snap
04. Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick: Ian Dury and the Blockheads
05. Edge Of Heaven: Wham!
06. I'd Do Anything For Love: Meatloaf
07. Pump Up The Volume: M/A/R/R/S
08. I Feel Love: Donna Summer
09. Breathe: The Prodigy
10: Start: The Jam
11. Stay: Shakespeare's Sister
12. La Isla Bonita: Madonna
13. Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen
14. Too Shy Kagagoogoo
15. Blockbuster: Sweet
16. The Model: Kraftwerk
17. Country House: Blur
18. Wuthering Heights: Kate Bush
19. Cum on Feel The Noize: Slade
20. Ghost Town: The Specials
We got # 3, 5, 12, 16 and 19 all wrong by 1 year too early and # 8 wrong by 2 years too early.


Tuesday, March 06, 2001
Cheap CDs...
Very cheap CDs with free delivery. Thanks to Marky for this.


It's in the paper...
From the Guardian: "Moments before the attack Mr Mugabe had finished off a lunch of smoked salmon and chicken with wild..." - it's always good to know what a facist has for lunch, eh Guardian? Go Peter!

Thanks to the Guardian (again) for this about the Lib-Dems' attempt at attracting the pink vote. "And at a gay cafe in London, Charles Kennedy was working the homosexual vote. He would defend the party line on gays on radio, TV, and 'to any journalist who you care to put in front of me!' When you're running third, you have no need to fake sincerity." Too true.

From today's Guardian (OK so I read it cover to cover!) this article about pop music. "It is axiomatic that every generation thinks the music of its youth was a benchmark of pop greatness. Because of this, it isn't thought seemly for someone over a certain age to pass judgment on any scene that wasn't created for them." We like to think we transcend such snobbery don't we David, Dave and Ian? As usual we shall be demonstrating our broad and deep knowledge and appreciation of all things 'pop' tonight at the Retro Bar's Pop Quiz. Let's hope the gorgeous Darren can make it too.


Monday, March 05, 2001
I'm ill...
Sore throat. Husky voice. Fenella Fielding eat your heart out.


Friday, March 02, 2001
The Three Degrees of Separation...
As Disney would have us believe, it's a small world after all. And sadly I'd agree.
You may think the small social circles you move in are totally isolated but...
You may think you're the only one who liked Kim Wilde but...
You may think it's a long way down to the chip shop but...
It's a small world after all.

How do I prove my point? Well not by a concrete example but by generality. Let me try and appeal to your own personal experience. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows me. Or you. Or anyone. It's hard to be unknown in this world let alone this city. It's the six people rule. You're never more than six people away from anyone. You get introduced to someone at a party and immediately it's, "Don't you know so-and-so?" or "Didn't you used to go to such-and-such with *insert any name here*?" Big Brother, Shakespeare's Sister, Old Father Time and Mother Earth are all merging their address books. The world is shrinking. And shrinking fast.

Well if it's a small world, it's an even smaller gay world. I'd say about half the size. You're never more than three people away from any other gay man. Last night David, Ian and I were chatting about who we knew who had slept together in David's circle of friends. Needless to say we had to take off our shoes and socks and use our toes to keep count.

So if the world at large has it's Six Degrees Of Separation we, as gay men, have our Three Degrees Of Gay Separation.

"When will I see you again?" A lot sooner than you'd think.


All Your Base Are Belong To Us (again)...
Yes, I know I posted something about this yesterday but here's the original clip that started it all.


Thursday, March 01, 2001
TV Go Home...
Some friends of mine contribute to this site to rip the piss out of TV schedules. Who ever said sarcasm was the lowest form of wit? It's a right old laugh. David and Ian will no doubt appreciate why I'll be glued to my set for "That Ain't Workin'!".


All Your Base Are Belong To Us...
The Guardian are pushing this All Your Base... stuff so hard in this it-is-so-hip-now-but-won't-be-in-five-seconds kind of way I thought you might want to check it out. Strangely I have the original Zero Wing game but never picked up on the bad translation.


End of the affair...
It's over. At last. I can breathe fresh air again and I feel strangely elated. The weight that was crushing me has finally been lifted. I'm almost floating. I was dreading the end. Would he make things difficult? Would there be tears and recriminations; bitterness and regret? Would I have to go somewhere else? How would I react to a change of routine? Would I be in shock? Just how sad would I feel? In the end he made it very easy for me.

It was 9:05am. It was raining. I was just paying for my new improved recipe less than 5% fat Spaghetti Bolognese. Then it all happened so quickly. Immediately I knew we were finished. It was over. He had simply looked up and looked right through me. He had just blanked me. Not a smile, not a nod, not a word. Within moments he was talking to some ugly looking strumpet on check out number five. My Sainsbury's security guard had moved on. Though our affair had lasted not quite 24 hours, I thought we really had something going. Something real. But I was deluded. It wasn't me he had been interested in. It was the fact that I would listen to him. And he'd already found someone else who was a better listener than me. Someone who not only nodded and smiled back at him but also asked him questions connected with him on a level that I hadn't been able to. My security guard had found someone else to bear his soul too. Someone else to connect with. Someone else.


Top of the Popex...
After what seems like ages I've pipped old swishy to the top - long may it last (some hope)


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