Crawling through technology, life and love
Pool Paradise - GC on Wii
Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry
Bits and Bobs:
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Sites I like:
Top 40 Singles
Some blogs I enjoy:
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
Friday, June 29, 2001
Bang goes another kanga on the bonnet of the van...
Reading the Guardian today I saw an article about Midge Ure. Nothing speacial about that. He has a new album to pormote called Move Me. No, what was surprising was to see him holding up my favourite Kate Bush LP 'The Dreaming'. It bought back lots of memories. Here's the cover and the vinyl track listing to jog yours.
Side 1: Sat In Your Lap (3:29) / There Goes A Tenner (3:24) / Pull Out The Pin (5:26) / Suspended In Gaffa (3:54) / Leave It Open (3:20)
Side 2: The Dreaming (4:41) / Night Of The Swallow (5:22) / All The Love (4:20) / Houdini (3:48) / Get Out Of My House (5:25)
Hi Energy, your love is lifting me...
(shuffles to feet, coughs, hesitates) "My name is Jonathan, I am here of my own free will. And I'd just like to say I love Hi-NRG music". There. I've said it. At last I've come out to the world at large as a fan of the original, the biggest and the best gay disco music ever (volume 1).
My obsession started in the mid-seventies when disco first hit the UK big time. I'd love going to school discos, parties or Saturday night socials and just dance, dance, dance. It was quite liberating to be able to dance by myself as I'd always thought you had to find a partner (i.e. girl) to dance with. Now I realised I could dance alone and go crazy without being thought of as an idiot. Soon I got used to what music was cool and hip and groovy and started asking the guy who called himself 'Disco Jockey' what the titles were. Then the collecting started. I'd be down in Our Price every weekend buying up Donna Summer, Munich Machine, Voyage, Village People, Sylvester, Chic, Carol Jiani, Cerrone, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Edwin Starr, Earth Wind and Fire, Giorgio Moroder etc. Mainly 12" vinyl. By 1980 I had over one thousand disco singles. It filled up all my cupboards both at home and at college. Here is top 500 list of some of the classics. I have many of them.
Late seventies and early eighties saw the arrival of Punk Rock and the New Romantics, Gradually disco started to go out of style. By 1984 the only people keeping the disco flame alive were the gay clubs like Heaven on a Saturday night which played a simple uplifting form of disco called High Energy. The songs were often written by gay men and sung by black women. Telling stories of broken hearts, long suffering relationships, revenge fantasy, overt sexuality or simply big, butch men. Long standing producers like Ian Levine with artists like Evelyn Thomas held that disco torch aloft with this high powered, high charged thumping music. Despite this low profile songs like 'Masquerade' and 'High Energy' were making some impressions on the charts as were Man 2 Man's 'Male Stripper', Sinetta "So Macho", Eria Fachin's 'Savin' Myself' and Carol Jiani's 'Hit 'N' Run Lover'.
As the late eighties approached interest in disco was reawakened. Drugs were becoming more freely available and disco was due for a make-over. Chicago House appeared as if overnight, followed by Acid House, and then Techno. As they all arrived within a few years of each other it was seen as a cultural change. And as such needed a new name. What was once just called Disco was now to be rechristened as Dance. Dance music, dance culture, dance clubs. For over ten years this form of music has dominated the club scene and achieved much chart success. With all the various forms of dance music now around there is room for all it seems. Indeed High Energy is still alive and well and residing as remixes on many chart hits. Almighty Records are foremost in this field as they pump out remixes for many top artists including Geri Halliwell, Dina Caroll and Gabrielle, Ronan Keating and Samantha Mumba.
I get regular mailings from Almighty Records of their new releases. Some would call it sacrilege but I love their remixes of current 'indie' tunes. Jackie 'O''s cover of Travis' 'Sing' is my latest must-have. Other artists on their books are Natalie Brown, Obsession, and Abbacadabra. All top acts.
Gay music lives on.
Thursday, June 28, 2001
I don't know how to tell you this, David. You know we have ten days or more importantly ten nights sleeping in the same bed together in the States next month? Well... let me put it this way. Mark knows how you feel. Apparently the answer is to turn me on my front and hit me repeatly with a baseball bat. It won't stop me snoring but you'll certainly feel a hell of a lot better.
Lesbians and gay men in London are to benefit from a new scheme allowing them the same pension, taxation and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. The London Partnership Register, to be launched in September, aims to pave the way towards giving same sex couples equal legal rights as married couples.
The registrations will be in the Greater London Authority visitor's centre on either a Wednesday or a Saturday. You can invite 25 guests and have a ceremony too. Bless!
Full story here.
Dinner and a drama...
It was our flatmate Mikey's birthday yesterday so we took him out for dinner to La Petite Auberge in Upper Street. Lovely french food, good wine and great conversation. All three of us got a bit pie-eyed. We went on to the Eddie for a few jars and to meet up with some of Mikey's friends. Evening ended with a bit of a drama but then that's queens for you. When we finally staggered home we watched Big Brother on E4 to the wee small hours. The three girls were all naked in a foam bath, drinking wine and being pampered by Josh and Brian as part of Elizabeth's birthday present. Very funny.
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
My first attempt at a photo library...
After some advice (thanks Ian) I've decided to use a piece of software called ThumbsPlus to produce my first foray into getting my pictures on the web. ThumbsPlus is nice in that it takes groups of pictures and does simple batch work on them such as making thumbnails, creating web pages etc.
See and marvel at my first attempt Madrid June 2001 and my second attempt Pop Quiz June 2001.
Is it me?...
Or am I the only one who thinks Shawn Fanning is cute? Obviously not.
A picture is worth a thousand words...
I've taken quite a lot of pictures in the last week. Some of which I want to put on my site. I want to be bandwidth friendly to modem users but still allow those people with broadband or buckets of patience to see the images in their full glory.
My basic idea is to have an image library. A front page with links to the sets of photos. Click on any link to see that set of photos as thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail and see a larger version of that picture.
1. Is this too complicated? Or should I just go with Plan B - have two pages for each set of photos, one for thumbnails and one for full images?
2. Is it easy for a non-HTML literate person to attempt my original idea?
3. How best to store the images (in their two sizes). As jpg? gif? something else?
4. What's a reasonable size for a thumbnail 10k? a full image 100k? There may be up to 30-35 pictures on a page.
Any advice would be gratefully received.
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Mattee and I were talking about initials the other day. He's just got some new ones to put after his name. I tend to keep mine well hidden. It put me in mind of my parents. Why? Because even in my late thirties I've never heard them swear. I've seen them get hot under the collar sure, be put in situations where a simple expletive would fit the bill perfectly but they've held their tongues. It's quite some record to not swear over such a long period. I myself have a blue mouth that casually Fs and Cs without much thought. The only time my parents have ever come close to swearing is to use two initials. It is two initials that for them is the ultimate insult, when all reason deserts them and they can't express themselves any other way. And what are those two initials? BF. Any idea what they mean?
Is there a doctor in the house?...
I think I'm about to get a summer cold. I've got a slightly sore throat. I'm having the odd hot flush. Ocassional sneezing. Anyone got any instant home cures / advice?
Monday, June 25, 2001
Astronet Live: Utah Saints / The Orb / Soft Cell...
The thing kicked off at 10pm so we though we’d get there a bit before. The location was quite some way out of Madrid (Plaza de Toros, Cubierta de Leganes) too so Paul and I decided to splash out on a cab – the way you do. As luck would have it, as we pulled up we bumped into Bryn, Larissa, Dave, (veterans of Gloria Hunniford’s show last week) and Dave’s squeeze, Thierry and a Spanish guy called Francisco. So the seven of us sat in a bar and gossiped and swapped Marc and Soft cell stories while we waited for the concert to start. The buzz was good and we all got very excited. Lots of people had dressed up for the event and bizarrely a man on very tall stilts gave me a balloon shaped like a frying pan. Go figure.
The event itself was staged in a bullring that gave more than a passing resemblance to the alien mother ship at the end of Close Encounters. It was a high-sided pudding bowl of concrete topped with a metallic retractable roof. Half the roof was open so you could see the stars. Cool venue. When we first went in we were attacked by a wall of sound and light, which was quite disorientating. Gigantic towers of speakers littered the place and huge arrays of powerful, flashing lights were strung above, to the left and to the right of the main stage. We felt like Christians thrown to the lions. Except there was no one there to watch. The circular 10,000 seater was all but empty. In total we reckoned there were no more than 1,000 people. Shame really. But it meant we got really close to the stage.
First on were the Utah Saints. They were loud but uninspiring. We stayed in the bar most of the time and listened only when we went to the loo. Which was twice. Yeah, yeah Kate Bush sample. Yeah, yeah, Eurythmics sample. Next!
And next, at midnight, it was The Orb. There was no formal announcement so it was hard to tell when they actually started playing. To their credit they had impressive visuals (a giant white orb and dazzling back projection). But occasionally there was no one was on stage at all, which made you wonder who or what you were there to see. It was an over long set too. They stretched out their uninspiring brand of ambient / techno landscape to nearly two hours. By the end of it we were shouting, "Play that f**king little fluffy clouds song and get off!" They actually finished with a porno version of "These Are A few Of My Favourite Things" which as quite funny so they were partly forgiven.
Finally at well past 2am Soft Cell came on to huge cheers and stamping of feet. Marc was wearing a black leather jacket, black sequined top, and a single black leather glove. Very Depeche Mode, very Michael Jackson. It was more or less a re-run of the Ocean gig but with no backing video screens. Same dance moves, same level and tempo in the performance (Marc - lots, Dave – none), same audience singing/Marc singing during the ‘hits’. Some of the people near us were going wild though. Throwing themselves about like it was a heavy metal concert. Bless. The running order was little different this time.
Memorabilia (Marc ‘raps’ rather than sings quite a lot on this – more than at Ocean?)
Monoculture (went down OK, Marc needs a new dance though)
Torch (moved to be earlier in the set, and wise move too. Gives a bit of crowd participation early on)
Divided Soul (this was very popular. Fast becoming my favourite new track)
Best Way To Kill (same deal with Marc pretending (?) to play guitar)
The Art Of Falling Apart (Marc took his jacket off, to much cheering)
Somebody Somewhere Sometime (a Spaniard asked me to translate the lyrics… er… er…)
Bedsitter (everyone sang along. Even when they didn’t understand the words!)
Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go? (handclapping, air punching, crowd pleaser)
Say Hello Wave Goodbye (sway, everybody sway)
Martin (cue pogoing, and wild dancing by entire crowd)
Sex Dwarf (scream if you wanna hear more! We did. They didn’t)
Total they were on stage for an hour and fifteen minutes. So at half past three we had the fun of trying to get back to civilisation. Taxi!
I took loads of pictures. Don’t know if any will come out. I’ll post any good ones.
Back in London safe and sound. Having a busy day at work so will post later about Madrid and also about the Soft Cell concert. Both were hot, hot, hot!
Friday, June 22, 2001
I´m in Madrid!...
Paul and I are sitting in a Madrid internet cafe in the gayest part of any city I have ever been in. There are rainbow flags on every corner and all the way down the centre of the street. There are gay shops, gay bars, gays men, gay women, gay cats and gay dogs. But what makes it so OK. So natural. It that they are all Spanish. It´s somehow OK to be so gay and Spanish. They carry it off so well. With such aplomb. The slight downside is that it´s 44 degrees. Too sodding hot!
Thursday, June 21, 2001
Warped competition time...
From tomorrow I'm off to Madrid for three days on holiday. Going to see Soft Cell, Utah Saints and the Orb while I'm there. To keep you happy folks busy while I'm away I thought I'd set a competition. Below is a picture of me. Hideous I know! But it could be so much worse. How? Well use your mouse to drag and drop parts of the picture to distort and warp me. Capture the results and send them to me (let me know if you need help with doing this). If I like what you've done you could win a prize and go in the soon to be setup Hall of Fame! Enjoy.
Why oh why...
Last month when I went abroad, Madonna tickets went on sale the next day. Fuck. Looks like it's happening again. Double Fuck.
The Gameboy Advance is out on Friday. I have one ordered. Can't wait.
I like computer games. Let me rephrase that. I LIVE computer games. I got hooked when I saved up my Green Shield stamps and bought a home enertainment system. It plugged into the back of the TV and allowed you to play tennis, squash or football - in colour. Actually as this was in 1977 they weren't really sport simulators, more like rather simplistic versions based on pong with different sized bats. Soon after that I bought a Spectrum. You needed a tape recorder to load and save the games I had great fun programming basic scripts to produce flashing lights on the TV screen. They games were superlative. Games like Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, The Hobbit, Ant Attack kept me entertained for hours. I've been reliving these fun times in recent months with various Spectrum emulators.
When the dedicated consols started coming out I was hooked. Ever new one that comes out I buy it. I own hundreds of games. Until recently had a weekly video games night (Wednesdays). Regularly have video games afternoons and occasional all night sessions.
I am the proud owner of...
2 x GameBoy - original grey plastic
1 x GameBoy - clear plastic
1 x GameBoy Pocket - silver
1 x Color GameBoy
1 x Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
1 x Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
1 x Nintendo N64
1 x Lynix
1 x Sega Gamegear
1 x Sega Master System
1 x Sega Megadrive (aka Genesis) inc the 32-bit overdrive add-on
1 x Sega Saturn
1 x Sega Dreamcast
1 x Sony PlayStation
1 x Sony PlayStation2
Needless to say I'm already saving my pennies for the NintendoCube and Microsoft X-box.
Last night we watched Shrek. At home. Great film. Very funny. Tonight we're going to watch Josie And The Pussycats. How can we do that you may ask? They're not even out in the cinemas here yet. Did we get a pirate copies? No. I just bought them from Malaysia...
Before DVD was available Sony came up with a format for putting films on discs called VideoCD. It uses MPEG-1 (i.e. not the same quality as DVD which uses MPEG-2 but about the same quality as your VCR). Nearly all UK sold DVD players will work with VideoCD. In the Far East, in particular Malaysia, cinemas are not very popular. Films go straight to VideoCD and poeple watch them in their homes. You can buy these films (always in English but often with subtitles) for knock-down prices over the Internet. The self same site also sells cut prices DVDs (full versions, full features). Well, cut price for the UK anyway! Last week I ordered ten films and got two free (for every five films you order you get one free). They all turned up yesterday. Delivery is free!
VideoCDs (all @ $6.99)
The Mummy Returns
Josie And The Pussycats
Meet The Parents
All About My Mother
DVDs (all @ $12.99)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Dungeons & Dragons
The Emperor's New Groove
Now tell me that DVDs aren't too expensive in the UK!
Wednesday, June 20, 2001
God Shaped Hole...
I was walking to the tube this morning. I noticed something odd in the street. Where there used to be a church is now a big hole in the ground. That was quick. Has someone stolen it? Is it being broken up for spare church parts in some lock-up in the Holloway Road? Maybe it just got up and walked off. Maybe it's gone on holiday. Sunning itself with other churches on a beach in Spain. Maybe it's just popped out. To buy a newspaper. Or some fags. Maybe it's round visiting friends. Do churches have friends? It'd better to careful. Someone may nick it's space.
Jump The Shark...
Today's Guardian has a great article about a site detailing the precise point at which TV shows go bad. The Jump The Shark site is a lot of fun and brings back painful memories of when I stopped watching Scooby Doo (when Scrappy Doo joined), Dallas (the whole dream thing), Dynasty (the Moldavian massacre) and Rossane (when she won the lottery) to name but four. Go there, find your favourite and gloat at what went wrong.
About last night…
We won last night’s big money Pop Quiz. One hundred and twenty squids! The triumphant team of Dave “Uncle Hedgehog” Boyes, David “I Know Too Much About Easy Listening And I Don’t Know Why” Sim, Ian “I May Only Get One Answer Right Each Week But You’d Have Lost If I Wasn’t Here” Martin and Jonathan “Can’t Spell But Always Seems To Pull An Answer Out Of Somewhere” Green.
Being Dave’s last quiz night (off to Oz next week), Wendy had done us proud. She reserved a table for us, provided streamers, poppers (no, not those kind of poppers) and a helium balloon (which is probably still floating somewhere in Charing Cross Station). Before the quiz had even started we were taking pictures (more of that later), ripping by streamers, chucking them about and generally making a nuisance of ourselves. We were there to enjoy ourselves – the quiz was a bonus. We didn’t expect to win. Big money quizzes always attract the best teams and even a few ‘ringers’ who never appear at any other time.
The first two questions were from a video clip of Fox performing ‘S-S-S-Single Bed’ on TOTP2. We got the band and the year. Next round was three eighties’ B-sides – we had to guess the band and the A-side. I plucked The Creatures and ‘Right Now’ from thin air, we narrowly missed getting Joan Jett and her Blackhearts ‘I Love Rock And Roll’ (we put Transvision Vamp / ’I Don’t Care’) and we thought Bow Wow Wow’s A-side was ‘Go Wild In The Country’ (it was ‘I Want Candy’). Then there was picture round of L’il Kim, Pink, Mya and Christina Agquerla. Then we had a round of Mark and Lard’s Shirehorses’ covers. The Manics, Radiohead, Travis, Coldplay, Oasis and Blur. The best was Travis’s ‘Why Is It Always Dairy-Lea?’ The lyrics round was the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘It’s A Sin’. See how you do. Can you get the next nine words following on from, “Everything I’ve ever done, Everything I ever do…” ? Liza Minnelli belted out ‘Ring Them Bells’ for which we needed to ascertain her address (29E, 5 Riverside Drive, Manhattan, New York), the money she borrowed (a grand) and four places she went to (Brussels, Majorca, Rome, Dubrovnik, Madrid). So we were doing quite well up until that point. We’d only dropped one and a half points. Then it all went a bit Pete Tong. We dropped three points in a row. We couldn’t remember three Latin snatches i.e. Latino sounding records. They were some rap act, Shaft and the Mighty Dubcats. Inspiration then returned to us in the following hippy round – we recognised Santana, Melanie and Jimi Hendrix. The final question we got from the three tracks played from Daft Punk’s Discovery. The result: fifteen and a half points.
We didn’t think we had won. The countdown was painful. As it turned out it was a tie-break situation so naturally we pushed Dave forward. Rockwell’s ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ presented him with no problems. The money was ours. Hurray!
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Damn those Frenchies!...
The French crack is a fake. Spent the day un/re-installing.
Monday, June 18, 2001
What should I do when I come to America?...
From 20th - 30th July David and I shall be in the Boston and New York. Are there any 'must-see' things around that time? You know the sort of thing; good bars, clubs, shows, shops, museums, concerts, cruising grounds, saunas, friends-who-like-having-sex-with-Englishmen etc.
For example, many films come out in the States before they do in the UK. So one number one on my list is...
1. AI. It sounds good. Hype swallowed.
Help me flesh out the list. Let me know what I gotta see.
Vive La France...
If you need a French crack mail me. Professional only.
Who wants to be a billionaire....
Ha! Beaten you. If you put in +and you get 1,190,000,000 results. Beat that!
Saturday, June 16, 2001
Touched for the very first time...
How much do you want to see Madonna is concert? Would you fly to Germany and have sex with a reporter? "Twelve male readers had sent in applications, which included nude photographs, to have sex with a woman columnist named Shelley Masters. Six female readers had sent in applications to have sex with one of three men on the publication's staff and four gay readers had sent in bids to have sex with a gay staff member." Thanks to Bob for the link.
The Simpsons on DVD...
Yippey! Fox are (after a few false starts) going to release all the Simpsons episodes on DVD. Out in the States first and then in the UK. The first Season, (with all 13 episodes), is coming out on 25th September (the day before my birthday - hint, hint), as a 3-disc boxed-set. OK, we're all seen them a zillion times but they still make me laugh and it'll be fun to see them all again from scratch.
- scripts for every episode
- full audio commentaries for every episode
- cast and crew interviews
- several documentaries
- behind-the-scenes of the series material
- how the Simpsons came to be!
- plus, every single one of the original Tracy Ullman Show "Simpsons" shorts. (Approximately 40 x 5 minute shorts!)
Is this gonna be a DVD set to die for, or is it gonna be a DVD set to die for?
Friday, June 15, 2001
1983 is now 18 years old...
Mattee asked on his web site what myself, Ian or David were doing eighteen years ago as he happened to be in London at that time. David it appears was peering into gay bars. Funnily enough so was I.
Well I was twenty-one at the time. Still at university. Going through a very painful breakup with my first (male) romantic interest. After a year of sleeping together he decided he was straight (the bastard). As we were sharing a room it became very awkward. I escaped by visiting London whenever I could. I looked up in Gay Times where the gay bars were. The nearest to Kings Cross was the Bell and the Euston Tavern. Both fantasic places. First time I walked into the Bell was to see a sea of poofs and dykes dancing to the Human League - I knew I was 'home'.
11. I'm a happy homosexual - TRUE
When we were in Vienna last month Mark's brother asked me if I was happy. It got me thinking. Honestly I am the happiest I've ever been. I love my life; my boyfriend, being gay, my job, my family, my relationships. Not that I think I'm perfect by a long chalk. If I had a magic wand there are things I'd think about changing. But very early on I came to terms with the fact that I wouldn't be rich, I'm not fanastically good looking, I'm not brilliantly witty and there will always be other people who are more popular than me. But I'm happy with who I am. My parents did a good job on me - they made me a happy homosexual (ask them nicely and they'll make you one too! - boom, boom). Are you happy?
A dull throb in my head (fnah, fnah)...
My teeth hurt - can teeth hurt? Thanks for reminding me why, David. The show we watched being recorded last night is being screened today at 2:20pm on Channel 5. I'm going to watch it in our conference room at work on the big screen. I want to relish the moment when we (that's the Royal 'we') started whooping, hollering, screeching and shouting like a demented Banshee just so I could hear myself on TV. I know, I'm sad!
When good neighbours become good friends...
A couple of weeks ago I was sitting on the grassy knoll behind the Royal Vauxhall Tavern soaking up the sun. A man leaned over and said, "I think you're my neighbour." Sure enough it turns out we live next door but one to each other. Since then we have bumped into each other everywhere; in clubs, bars, on tube journeys and in the street. We haven't quite worked out who is stalking who yet. Hello Richard!
Thursday, June 14, 2001
Excuse me. I think your end of the gene pool could use a little chlorine...
For no particular reason here are some anti-men jokes for any anti-men people out there. Compiled over three years. Thanks to Sarah for her invaluable input.
Q. What's the fastest way to a man's heart?
A. Through his chest with a sharp knife.
Q. What have men and floor tiles got in common?
A. If you lay them properly the first time, you can walk all over them for life.
Q. How can you tell if a man is happy?
A. Who cares?
Q: What do you call a mushroom with a 12 inch stem?
A: A fungi to be with
Q. What is the difference between a man and a catfish?
A. One is a bottom-feeding scum-sucker and the other is a fish.
Q. Did you hear about the banker who's a great lover?
A. He knows first-hand the penalty for early withdrawal.
Q. Why do men name their penises?
A. Because they want to be on a first-name basis with the person who makes all their decisions.
Q. Why is it so hard for women to find men that are sensitive, caring and good-looking?
A. Because those men already have boyfriends.
Q. Why do men like masturbation?
A. Its sex with someone they love.
Q. What's the difference between a porcupine and a BMW?
A. Porcupines have pricks on the outside.
Q. What is a man's view of safe sex?
A. A padded headboard.
Q. How do men sort their laundry?
A. "Filthy" and "Filthy but Wearable".
Q. Why do men love computers?
A. No matter what mood they're in, they can still get a floppy in.
Q. What's the difference between a clitoris and a pub?
A. 9 out of 10 men can find a pub.
Q. How do you save a man from drowning?
A. Take your foot off his head.
Q. What do men and beer bottles have in common?
A. They're both empty from the neck up.
Q. How many men does it take to change a toilet roll?
A. Who knows, it's never happened
Q. Why do female black widow spiders kill the males after mating?
A. To stop the snoring before it starts.
Q. Why do bachelors like smart women?
A. Opposites attract.
Q. Why do men find it difficult to make eye contact?
A. Breasts don't have eyes.
Q. How many men does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. One. Men will screw anything.
Q. What's a man's idea of foreplay?
A. Half an hour of begging.
Q. What do a clitoris, an anniversary and a toilet have in common?
A. Men usually miss them.
Q: How can you tell if your wife is dead?
A: The sex is the same, but the dishes pile up.
Q: How can you tell if your husband is dead?
A: The sex is the same, but you get the remote.
Q What is another term for lesbian?
Q: If the dove is the bird of peace, what is the bird of true love?
A: The swallow
Q: What's a blonde's favourite nursery rhyme?
A: Humpme Dumpme
Q: What's the difference between a girlfriend and a wife?
A: 45 lbs.
Q: What's the difference between a boyfriend and a husband?
A: 45 minutes
Eat out for cheap...
I got a card thrust into my hand by a guy dressed as a chef when leaving the tube station this morning. Eat in your favourite restaurant for less than £10 for 2 courses. Seems like a good idea and they seem to have some great bargains. It's nationwide too. I guess it means eating straight after work in most cases but that suits me just fine.
Keep your nails short, very short...
No, not a reference to fisting. Something much worse. Scientists have developed a new drugs test using nail clippings which could tell if people have 'abused' substances up to a year beforehand. Two teams of scientists, from Glasgow University and South Bank University in London, say nail clippings hold the key to testing for drug use. Finger nails can show if someone has used any drug, including cannabis, up to six months beforehand. Scientists grind down the nail into dust particles which are then tested for drugs present in the clippings.
Many American companies are increasing declaring themselves 'clean'. That means everyone in their company has had to pass an annual drugs and alcohol test. The company gets the 'clean' status if a certain percentage pass the test, they must also have a certain (low) ratio of non-smokers to non-smokers and run fitness programs for employees. Increasingly Federal Agencies and US Government Departments are only doing business with companies you can certify themselves 'clean'. Scary stuff. This may spread to the UK. I don't like the sound of this one little bit.
In unrelated news: I cut my toe nails and finger nails this morning and I drank a pint of milk on the way to work to help them grow faster.
Wednesday, June 13, 2001
10. I've sung professionally on stage - TRUE...
I was in every school play and Old Time Music Hall that our school put on. Singing, dancing and acting. I wasn't particularly good at any of those but I enjoyed it so that's all that counts in my book. After school I did lots of 'am dram'. I was the lead in various productions (straight drama and musical) for the North Herts Youth Theatre and the Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society (CULES). We murdered all the classics; Shakespeare, Coward, Orton. We performed in schools, old peoples homes, borstals and prisons. Anywhere that would have us. I pity those poor buggers. We even did sketch shows and variety. What possessed us? Someone must have been watching as finally I was asked to perform professionally at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage. I played the part of Wang, The Water Seller in Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person Of Sichuan. Being Brecht naturally I had to sing as well as act. I lost my nerve. I sang badly. I was crap. I hated it. I've not performed since. High fiddly-dee, (not) an actors life for me.
The Invisible Band...
I was never really a big Travis fan. Sure, I liked their singles - especially 'Tied to the 90s', 'Turn' and 'Why Does It Always Rain on Me?'. Marky bought their new album this week and I've been listening to it at work ever since. It's really grown on me. Here's my track by track musings.
The single 'Sing' is a good way to start any album with it's up tempo radio friendly tune and lyrics. But this start is soon replaced with a more contemplative mood on track two - 'Dear Diary'. It wouldn't be out of place on an early Radiohead album - slow and wailing vocals with an introspective tone to the words. Back in familiar territory with the next track is 'Side'. This is quintessential Travis - simple, catchy and melodic. It will please fans and is an obvious candidate for a second single. Next is 'Pipe Dreams' - a rather retro ditty that reminds me of the neo-folk movement in the 70s. A clean song with an oft repeated chorus. Ideal campfire fodder? The strongest track on the album is 'Flowers In The Window'. A real grower (no pun intended) it gets under your skin like Lennon/McCartney at their best. How can a song fail to impress when it has seagulls in it's soundscape? Perhaps another choice for a single. Back to the more sedate Travis follows with 'The Cage'. A love song from the heart. Minimal production and clever mixing, makes it sounds like a tuneful music box song. 'Safe' is a wonderful song in the vain of Supertramp. The heartfelt vocals and wonderful rift carry you along. You can't help but love it. The next track is 'Follow The Light'. I think this could be dubbed 'Tied to The 90s - the 2001 mix'. Same style... same mood... same song! Following on is 'Last Train'. More navel gazing lyrics ("I'm gonna buy a gun and I'm gonna shoot everyone. Then I'm gonna come looking for you...") as the band goes round and around on that music box again. Next is 'Afterglow'. It's a bit of an album filler and it drags a bit. Over produced too. 'Indefinitely' is in a similar vain to 'Dear Diary' - slow, moody and haunting. Well written and well played. Good for a bit of late night listening. The last track is 'The Humpty Dumpty Song'. Almost invisible lyrics, lots of plinkity, plinkity plink noises, a full orchestra in there somewhere, the odd power chord and lots of random guitar strumming. But it goes to produce that unique Travis sound. A fitting end to a good, but not great, album. 7/10 (i.e. borrow rather than buy).
Why not write an album review yourself? It's always fun to read others. Send it to me.
It was so much fun last night. David, Ian and I met in Bar Code for a swifty and to check out the boys. Then a we moved on to the UK blogmeet in Wardour Street. It was interesting and I'd have liked to have stayed longer. Davo was looking sweet. I want to call him Dav-o (short 'a' like in Davros) but Ian corrects me to Dave-o (long 'a') - which is it? Being social butterflies we then fluttered on to the weekly Pop Quiz at the Retro Bar. We didn't do very well but we all had a great time. Singing, dancing, laughing, loving... Next week we're going to The Black Cap afterwards to celebrate our win (for we WILL win next week!) and to see Regina Fong. Any of you remember agreeing to that at the end of the night or were you all too stewed!
This thing is gonna be big...
Oh dear. I think we might have started something here. I'm getting e-mails from people wanting to know where your great crotch is :)
"so, reading your blog, and about 16 linked blogs, I have still not actually seen this great crotch!
what gives? bj"
News of your crotch is whizzing it's way around the ether. Maybe your crotch could set up it's own blog. Riding the wave of popularity I see your crotch moving into the main stream. I see merchandising; T-shirts, calendars, underwear, baseball caps. Your crotch will be on ever billboard in every town in America. Your crotch is gonna need an agent. I see TV appearances, film roles. Your crotch is gonna be big. Your crotch is gonna be very big.
Letter reproduced by kind permission (of me)
Tuesday, June 12, 2001
Annual Performance Appraisal Review...
It's that time of year again. We get a review by our boss - this is then linked to any pay rise. I'd had a few run-ins with people much higher up the company than me this year so I wasn't expecting a particularly glowing review. Imagine my (very pleasant surprise) when I read, "Jonathan is an outstanding computer professional whose knowledge is invaluable." Need they say more? Yes, indeed they do. Read my appraisal in full. I am well chuffed. :))) Anybody wanna offer me a better paid job?
The below metioned Walt sent me a nice e-mail just now so I thought I'd add him to my sidebar via my template. Well he has got a crotch that should be looked at apparently :)
But the blogger templates are all fucked up so I'm not going to risk it just yet. Instead this will have to serve as a temporary entry. God, blogger are crap at the moment.
Technical note: a while ago Blogger ate my blog. Well actually it ate a large chunk of my old site on Blogspot. That meant it ate the rediection code that I'd put there. For some reason I'd not been able to replace it due to some weird 550 ftp errors (I wasn't the only one to get these errors). Blogger fixed these problems quite recently so the redirection is now in place again. Hurrah.
What a great idea is Naked Twister. Why didn't we get to hear about this before? Not only that but the lovely Mattee came in the top four. Well done. Now it's my turn to oggle, eh Mattee?
This made me laugh. Lifted straight from John.
jb: "walt, i wasn't looking at your crotch."
wp: "well why not?"
This is fun...
This is a great mini golf game. It's addictive though so clear your schedule first. Thanks to Rod for the link.
Who am I?...
FIT FUN SEXY VGL GUY (29 years old)
SEXY & GYM TRAINED GUY EXTREMELY SPORTY FUN TO BE WITH AND AROUND LAUGH A MINUTE DRINKS OUT / HOT NIGHTS IN DASHING, FRIENDLY SMILE & HOT BOD
Occupation : Professional
Height : 6' 0" (183 cm)
Body Type : Muscled
Ethnic Origins : Caucasian
Hair Colour : Brown
Eye Colour : Blue
Attire : Trendy
Out : Yes
Dick/Bust Size : Average
Cut/Uncut : Uncut
Body Hair : None/Little
Orientation : Gay
Role : Versatile
Practise Safe Sex : Always
Smoke : No
Drink : Often
My Hobbies : Keeping fit & working out, tennis, squash, volleyball & swimming. Good food & good wine. Socialising & pubbing. Talking, smiling and laughing and generally having a f*@king good time.
My Favourite Things : Food Good food, great company and excellent wine (red)
Music : Wide & Varied
Author : Loads & loads
Film : True Romance, Leon, Shawshank Redemption, Scarface
Actor : Gary Oldman, Kevin Spacey,Al Pacino, Robert DeNero
TV Show : League of Gentlemen
Holiday Destination : Vietnam, Cuba
City :Lisbon, Barcelona, San Francisco, South Beach
Club :Factor 25
Bar/Pub : Anywhere that serves a decent pint !
Still not sure? Well check out his picture on Gaydar or on Channel 4 every night @ 10pm!
Monday, June 11, 2001
9. I won first prize in an amateur strip tease competition - TRUE...
I really don't need to go into the details of this. I got drunk. I got on stage. I got naked. I got £50. Would I do it again? Maybe.
Saturday, June 09, 2001
Vanity Publishing Presents...
Looking at this picture I realise what a bloody tip my bedroom is. And what's all that stuff on the table by my bed?
Ginger Support Group...
Looks like I'm not the only one you likes people with red hair.
Note to self: arrange to meet akafrankgreen when we are in the US in July :-)
8. I think red-heads are the sexiest people on the planet - TRUE...
I have a real weakness for red-heads, gingers and strawberry-blondes. All those freckles. Hmmmm. I've studied redheads a lot over the years and there are definite characteristics that seem to apply to all. Every now and agin you come across a 'best of breed’.
* Hair (obviously). Hair colour can range from fair strawberry blonde through strong ginger to a flaming rusty red. My favourite though is a light ginger biscuit coloured hair.
* Skin. Redheads have pinky white skin. They can suffer from poor skin quality from sun damage due to low melanin levels. Redheads tend to stay out of the sun, avoiding hot holiday destinations and often have a bottle of moisturiser or two in the bathroom cabinet. Along with the pink skin they often have pink ears, ginger pubes and pink willy. Brazilian and Italian redheads don't suffer the same skin problems as their paler brothers and sisters as they generally have more melanin.
* Eyes. Eye colour can vary from bright green through to aquamarine or dark blue. Often redheads have very interesting eye colour combinations e.g. green with a gold rim or blue with an orange rim.
* Freckles. Thoroughbreds will have large distinct markings all over the body. Especially concentrated on face, shoulders, back and arms. Superlative specimens can have freckles that join together to form large leopard like freckles on the back and shoulders. These are known as 'best of breed'
Know a redhead? Send me a picture.
Friday, June 08, 2001
Not on my doorstep if you don't mind...
Two little oiks rang my doorbell just now (I'm at home today).
"Hey, Mister? Need your car washing?".
"I haven't got a car", I replied.
"What have you got?"
"Nothing. I haven't got a car or anything."
They looked at me suspiciously.
"That's a bit gay"
I closed the door.
'What Am I?' competition winner is Tom. He was the first to guess that the item shown is a sugar stick for stirring in coffee or tea. The longer you stir, the sweeter is gets. Tom is now officially classified as 'posh' not 'impish'. Oh, and cute. Tom gets a drink when I see him next.
'One of these is false' competition winner is Kit. Being my best friend he knows me best, of course. The false claim was to be able to juggle and unicycle at the same time. Kit gets a drink and a Blankety-Blank chequebook and pen.
Well done, guys.
7. I have a fear of flying - TRUE...
What I hate about flying is the dropping. The heaving in your stomach when you start to descend. If we hit turbulence I start to panic. On a trip from San Diego to San Francisco we dropped a bit mid-air and I gasped; very, very loudly. I almost sucked in two whole rows of seats in front of me. It was so loud that everyone around me started laughing. I used to drink on planes to calm my nerves. Once on the way to Ibiza I got so drunk I had to be 'helped off the plane'. If we drive anywhere near an airport my heart rate goes up, I get sweaty palms and I become anxious - and it's getting worse as I get older. It's completely irrational I know but I guess that's the natural of the beast. I get the same fear if I get on a fairground ride or in mild swell at sea. I hate driving over fast bumps in the road, won't go on playground swings or even in fast lifts. I wish I could conquer this fear but I'm too afraid to face it. What a wuss, eh?
The nation decides...
I've been up all night watching it on TV. It looked like a close call at one point. Predictions of a landslide may have been premature. But soon we will know for sure. Soon the final results will be in. Soon the nail biting will be over. Soon we will know the result of the election that has gripped the nation.
Will it be Helen or will it be Penny to leave the Big Brother house?
Thursday, June 07, 2001
I Monster: 'Dayream in Blue'...
I bought this today. It's great. It sounds a bit like what you think the Air single should sound like - but doesn't. It was Terry Wogan's Single of the Week on Radio 2 last week. I Monster are Dean Honer and Jarrod Gosling - who used to be All Seeing I.
Ananova / Big Brother f*ck up...
By accident Ananova the news agency who supply all the Big Brother gossip have revealed who voted for who in the BB house. Opps! They're not supposed to do that until after voting is over at 10pm. Ten minutes after the original release this arrived.
"Please disregard story headlined BIG BROTHER HOUSEMATES CAST THEIR VOTES sent out at 14.43 on June 7. This was sent out in error and should be deleted from your inbox immediately. Apologies for any inconvenience caused."
Too late. Orginal message reproduced in full below.
"EMBARGOED TO 10PM ON JUNE 7.
The Big Brother housemates have cast their votes in the General Election.
Helen backed Labour while Bubble chose the Liberal Democrats.
Dean chose to abstain.
Seven of the housemates voted, with six of them using the diary room as a makeshift polling station and one voting by proxy.
Dean said: "I've never voted in a General Election. I've not found a party which represents my political views."
Helen told her housemates she voted Labour, but when asked for her reasons she said: "Oh that's a good question. I don't know really. I think they've done alright in the last four years. And I don't wanna vote Conservative 'cos they're all stuck up aren't they?"
Bubble said: "It's like picking the best of a bad bunch innit? Normally I'd vote Labour but in my area it's a wasted vote."
The other housemates who voted in the election chose to keep their political preferences to themselves."
I can see youuuuu...
Control a webcam on a building in Soho. Click take control and then you get three minutes to have a play before you have to wait in line again. I saw someone sunbathing on a roof top! Fab. Thanks to Darren for this.
It's an ill wind...
Eight detectives will face a disciplinary hearing after one of them allegedly farted in front of a family during a raid, Scotland Yard said yesterday. A team of officers are to be individually questioned in relation to an incident when one supposedly broke wind in the corridor of a family home. The complaint was made by a woman from Chingford, Essex, after Metropolitan police searched a flat for drugs on February 16. The directorate of professional standards, Scotland Yard's disciplinary body, wrote to the officers: "An allegation has been received from a person in that house that one of the male officers broke wind in the hallway and did not apologise to the family for his actions. The complainant felt it was rude and unprofessional." The officers will also be questioned over a complaint of assault. No officers have been suspended so far, but the disciplinary process is said to require at least 12 officers being removed from duty for a day. Both the interviewer and the officer being investigated will have a fellow officer present. The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said investigating a fart was a waste of police time and public money.
From today's Guardian.
It's a piece of old shit...
If you are thinking of buying a Motorola Timeport 250... don't! It's a piece of old shit. The controls are difficult to use, the menus non-intuitive and the games are pants.
On the other hand if you're going to the US for Wotapalava in July and your current phone is only dual-band and that means it won't work in the US and you can borrow the spare new Motorola Timeport 250 that is lying around the office and it's tri-band and that means you can text all your friends and make calls and all the things that you wouldn't be able to live without if you didn't have a phone then just get used to those bloody fiddly controls and stop complaining.
That's my advice.
Happy Birthday, Kit...
Nobody Loves A Fairy When She's Forty
Nobody Loves A Fairy When She's Forty
Your fairy days are ending when your wand has started bending
Nobody Loves A Fairy When She's Forty
Wednesday, June 06, 2001
6. I can juggle & unicycle at the same time - FALSE...
Not at the same time anyway. When I was twenty-nine I decided I wanted to learn how to juggle and unicycle at the same time before I was thirty. I enrolled in a circus school called The Circus Space and went there three or four times a week to practice. Juggling was easy. Making it look easy was hard. I started off with balls. Then moved to clubs. Moving from odd numbers to even numbers is always the hard bit. 3 to 4 or 5 to 6. Once I got the hang of it I'd show off my new skill at every chance I got. It made me a real hit at family parties as it kept the kids entertained for hours. I even juggled with knives when very drunk at the Brain Club once. I was too drunk though and ended up chopping off the tip of one of my fingers. Ouch! It grew back needless to say. I soon teamed up with my friend Roger and we became juggling partners. We'd practice at the YMCA on Saturday afternoons. We got quite good and drew quite a crowd. After mastering clubs came the unicycling. That was a bit harder. However lots of bruised knees later I finally managed it. I vene bought my own by I could practise at weekends. At one point I owned two. Soon I got quite good at this too and would daringly go for rides on the roads sometimes. I even joined a unicycle hockey team - five-a-side; few rules. The final step was to marry the two skills together. Not an easy task. In fact one I never achieved. My thirtieth came and went. So I'm a failure. I can't do both at the same time.
On advice from Tom Cruise's lawyers...
"like, realising towards the end of the evening that two of my good friends have been At It without even dropping me the slightest hint, the bastards. (You know who you are.)"
Ian, the writ is in the post.
And you thought the Nepalese had problems...
Despite having the magnificent David, the one and only fantastic Ian, the fount of all knowledge that is the sex-god Darren (but sadly without his gorgeous squeeze Jim) and me we did very badly at Pop Quiz last night. A measly fifteen out of twenty-one. The winners got seventeen. As usual we were largely stumped by questions that needed the year of release. As ever it started very well. Some band going a cover of Janet's Nasty (1986) gave us our first point. New releases from Basement Jaxx, Faithless, and Boris Dughlosh ft Rosin Murphy were next. The covers round were all The Who songs. We got David Bowie and Sheryl Crow but plumped for Ocean Colour Scene rather than the Stereophonics. An honest mistake. Ian spectacularly spotted Frank Sinatra doing a swing version of Lara's theme from Doctor Zhivargo. So at this stage we had only dropped one point. Then it all went wrong. The next round was Eighties' electronica. Piss easy. Well the catch was that you had to get the year of release correct - our Achilles' Heel. We got all but one wrong! See how you do. There are five songs. One from each of 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985. Match the year with the song. Let me know.
1. Kraftwerk - The Model
2. Ultravox - Visions In Blue
3. Trans-X - Living On Video
4. Gary Numan - Music For Chameleons
5. Depeche Mode - People Are People
To our great shame we even got the Depeche Mode song wrong too. We put Master And Servant. D'oh! The penultimate round was current crap pop acts. We proudly knew only one, B B Mack. The other two were 3LW and Blue. (Who?). The final round was a blatant promotion of a new club night called Be Bop Deluxe. The clues were Lady Killer by Lush, Crash by The Primitives and Without You by Be Bop Deluxe. Attaching the flyer got us a bonus point. Probably a night best forgotten quiz-wise.
Tuesday, June 05, 2001
5. I've had sex at the Vatican - TRUE…
On a bus in fact. In 1982 my then girlfriend, Anne, and I were touring Europe – thirteen major cities in twenty-eight days. We were getting on OK but the sex had fizzled out towards the end of the trip. Anne was at a loss to explain this and blamed herself. I was quick to reassure her that it was ‘me’ not ‘her’. I think she understood. We were on the final leg of the trip in Italy and had been really looking forward to seeing Rome. We’d done the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum and various modern art museums on our first day and saved our Vatican trip for our last day. It was a hot day but inevitably we had to wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts so as not to offend anyone when we toured the Vatican. We walked around for hours taking photos and marvelling at the fantastic paintings and architecture. Our legs were beginning to ache so we decided to call it a day. We found a bus standing behind the Vatican in the shade that we hoped would take us to the central station. The sign said it would anyway. It was an old coach-type bus with firm seats and smaller windows and steel luggage racks. We spread ourselves out across the back seat - hot and exhausted. Strangely the bus was completely empty. Maybe everyone knew something we didn’t. We were just glad of the shade and somewhere to sit though. Anne decided to go looking for some bottled water and so left me on the bus to look after the stuff. After a while the bus rocked a bit as a man climbed up the steps. I thought it might be the driver at last. He was wearing a white shirt and tie, loose fitting trousers and open toed sandals. A bit strange for a driver I thought. He looked at me down the length of the bus and then got off again. Odd I thought. A minute or two later the bus rocked again as he got back aboard. He walked the entire length of the bus and stood in front of me gazing out of the back windows over my head. Bizarrely he started reading a newspaper so I could no longer see his face. This is surreal, I thought. I’m here at the Vatican, my girlfriend is somewhere nearby and I’m staring at a man barely twelve inches away from me on an empty bus. I should have known what was going on but I was so naive at twenty. He started to get a bulge in his trousers. And I just couldn’t stop staring. He didn’t move. The bulge just got bigger and bigger. He swayed his hips slightly to be a bit nearer to me and I moved slightly in my seat. I was getting a hard-on too. I looked about and luckily there was no-one else even near the bus. My mysterious man then moved his hips forward and pushed his stiffened crotch against my knee and started rubbing gently against me. It what seemed like an instant I had slipped onto the floor and he was lying on top of me. The bus must have rocked quite a bit for a short while. Five minutes later I was searching for tissues in my rucksack and he was walking away across the square. When Anne came back she said that she’d discovered that this was the wrong bus anyway. We got off. I still remember that bus like it was yesterday.
Other strange places I’ve had sex:-
- on the northbound Victoria line tube platform at Vauxhall with someone standing guard
- in the Savoy restaurant
New Labour, New SMS...
TB 4PM on Jun7
X 4 schls,hosps first –X Lbr on jun7
d:*0 WUCIWUG #:-o VTR LBR 2moro
For those who are not familiar with "textiquette" the message reads:
d:*0 =Hague (Read sideways as a picture: d=Baseball hat wearing, : =eyes, *=sqiffy nose signs 14 pint drinking, 0= orator big mouth)
WUCIWUG = what you see is what you get
#:-o = oh no!
VTR LBR = vote Labour
2moro = tomorrow
CLDNT GVE A XXXX 4 LST ORDRS? VTE LBR ON THRSDY 4 XTRA TIME
A Labour spokesman said "Labour’s text messaging campaign is reaching parts of the electorate other campaigning just doesn’t reach. This one reminds drinkers of Labour’s plans for flexible licensing hours just before last orders."
A Guy and His Monkey...
I quite like this strip. Amusing rather than hilarious but worth a visit to his site.
Monday, June 04, 2001
4. My favourite food is bread - TRUE...
I love bread. A lot. It is my favourite food - no competition. The crispiness of the crusty bread, the crunchiness of toast and the soft, yielding moistness of freshly baked bread are truly three of the wonders of life. Bread is that most sensual of foods. Who can resist freshly spread hot buns and or a lightly buttered French stick? My mouth waters just thinking about it. I have bread with every meal given the chance. It is my comfort food. My joy. Strangely I used to envy Shaggy and Scooby’s mile-high Scooby Snacks not for the fillings but for the bread. Sandwiches in particular hold a special place in my heart. I love all sandwiches and will make them ‘on the hoof’ out of any meal I happen to have on my plate. My favourite sandwich filling however is without a doubt Marmite and mayonnaise. I could eat it forever. Hmmm.
What Am I?...
On Saturday Marky and I went to a very posh wedding at the Duke of York's Headquarters in Chelsea. The champagne flowed, the food was fabulous, the company wonderful. During dinner we were given something that neither of us had seen before. Any ideas what you think it might be? Let me know what you think it is.
Sunday, June 03, 2001
3. I've got a bottle of whiskey with my name on it behind a bar in Tokyo - TRUE...
About ten years ago part of my job was to set up International offices. I set up three in Singapore, New York and Hong Kong. Lots of foreign travel. All very glam. During one of these jaunts I managed to wangle a trip to Tokyo. I was only there for ten days but I saw a lot and will remember it forever. Tokyo is a fantastic city. So much going on. I stayed in a hotel opposite the Forbidden City. The people in our Tokyo office seemed quite taken with me (we still keep in touch). They took me out to sushi restaurants, karaoke bars and once (surprise, surprise) to a Lady-Boy club. Apparently the tranditional Japanese thing to do in clubs is to buy a bottle rather than individual drinks. So sure enough I bought a bottle of whiskey and had my name put on it; 'Jonathan Saudi Sam'. Whether this bottle buying was a bit of a con or not I don't know. We only drank half of it. As we left they said they would keep the bottle safe behind the bar indefinitely. Another con? Who knows? So as far I am aware it is still there. And no, I didn't cop off with a Lady Boy. Not that time anyway...
Friday, June 01, 2001
The Boy From Ipanema...
Tall and tanned and young and lovely,
The boy from Ipanema goes walking,
And when he passes,
Each one he passes goes "ahh!"
When he walks he's like a samba
That swing so cool and sway so gentle,
That when he passes,
Each one he passes goes "ahh!"
Oh, but I watch him so sadly,
How can I tell him I love him?
Yes, I would give my heart gladly.
But each day when he walks to the sea,
He looks straight ahead not at me.
Tall and tanned and young and lovely,
The boy from Ipanema goes walking,
And when he passes I smile, but he doesn't see.
He just doesn't see.
No he doesn't see.
Marc Almond - Stranger Things indeed...
Mark and David both sent me scanned pictures of Marc Almond's new album cover. Is it me or does he look like he's covered his face in Pritstick and shoved his head in a box of sequins? (Never let it be said I love my God's uncritically). Still the album sounds as good as ever. Buy it June 19th.
Sir Elton, who attended with partner David Furnish, gave the show his enthusiastic thumbs-up. He said: "I thought it was absolutely brilliant, I thought it was one of the most incredible nights I have had at the theatre for a long time. "It has great music, a great story and great performances I would give it 11 out of 10." It has taken Tennant and Lowe five years to get Closer to Heaven off the ground and onto the stage. The standing ovation the performance received stunned Tennant. He said: "I was incredibly moved, I have been very, very nervous and have been surviving on half my usual amount of sleep, but tonight made it all worthwhile."
Incredible is the word. Were they watching something else?
I hate over subtle marketing...
I get lots of funny stuff through the post. Don't get me wrong - it's not junk mail (even my cat got offers to take out an Amex card) or porn. It's marketing gimmicks. Little freebies that are used to get you to phone for a demo or talk to a sales rep. Subtle, pernicious stuff some of it. Thinly veiled bribes masquerading as executive toys. Usually they go straight in the bin (OK, I kept the Easylink Smarties dispensor and Reuter's juggling balls). Today I got a black tennis ball sent to me in a small black cylindrical tube. Why? God knows? It's too subtle or I'm too dense. (Don't answer that).
2. I've got a degree in General Relativity - TRUE...
Aged eleven I went to a comprehensive school in Stevenage. It was an all-boy’s school and a real rough old place - fights amongst the kids, violent staff and frequent expulsions for threatening behaviour (by both staff and pupils). Despite that I did quite well at school exam-wise (12 O-levels, 5 A-levels) which was in no small part due to the fact that I fancied my maths teacher (male) for my first three years and then both my physics teachers (one male, one female) in the fifth and sixth forms. I was very eager to please. A swot, basically. My parents were
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