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
Tuesday, July 31, 2001
I must be dreaming...
Somehow made it to the end of the day without actually falling asleep. But I'm so tired I'm in some dreamlike state. Almost dreaming. But not quite. Just bearly awake. All I can see is a cheshire cat smile and deep blue eyes.
Starting to flag now. God, I wish I drank caffeine.
Home at last (well almost)...
The flight was smooth coming home. Especially smooth in fact as I had taken two DF118s and glass or three of red wine to ease my nerves. Meant I slept well too which was handy as I've come straight to the office. I am now sitting in front of 108 e-mails in my Inbox. I couldn't just delete them all could I? :-)
Monday, July 30, 2001
Up at the crack...
Checked out but left our bags in the hotel lobby. David had 'some things to do' (more weak code I'm afraid). I bought a digital camera from B&H which is simply the bee's knees. It's a Nikon 775 digital camera - not available in the UK yet. They are fantastic little baby cameras and every homo should have one. I'll try and not post every single picture I take (that'll be a promise I'll find hard to keep!). They take videos too (15secs) but not with sound :-(
Then I met the lovely and gorgeous Dan for lunch from his place of work at 3 Park Avenue. I like Dan and have filled in forms to be his official stalker. I have a feeling there may be a big
After a fond farewell I headed up to Grand Central Station to buy a few momentos from the MTA museum. Now I'm waiting for a cab to take us to JFK where we have an overnight flight ahead of us. I have 'happy' pills to see me thought it. From Heathrow it's straight to work. Me and the wicked get no rest I can tell you.
God's Day Of Rest (but not mine)...
Got up early after a good night's sleep. Thank God someone knew when to tell me to go home.
Met Michael for brunch at Vynl and then popped down to Pier 63 for a few beers with some of Michael's friends. Bid a fond farewell before high tailing it back to the hotel to meet David who had been busy with other pursuits (weak code, I know).
We both then piled down to the Fez club to meet up with Matthew and his boyfriend who had got us freebies to see Kiki and Herb. What a show! Will blog about them at length later. Surfice to say that any act that can weave in Kate Bush's 'This Woman's Work' will have my heart and mind forever.
Much to my pleasant surprise Dan turned up at the gig too. The three of us went out for a drink afterwards at Baraccuda. David slipping away early due to stalker-avoidance and tireness.
Later I got collared by some butch short-person and then next thing I know I was looking at a fabulous view of the Empire State Building somewhere on 19 Street. They work fast these New Yorkers.
Sunday, July 29, 2001
Saturday we went to PS1 over on Long Island. While we were there we met up with the super cute and sexy NYC bloggers Dan and Michael. PS1 is a contemporary art space with frequently changing exhibitions and on Saturdays has DJs and an outdoor space that sells beer and food. It was might cool place where all the hip cats and dudes hangout. The art you could often crawl into and around with that fun element that other galleries should copy. As the day progessed and music got louder and the crowd got wilder it got to be more like a 'happening'. Almost hippy. Great fun and to be recommended.
In fact I was having such a good time I completely forgot myself. Before I knew it I was having even more fun.
Saturday, July 28, 2001
Richard Cheese is great (!). Cheese? Great? Grate? Geddit?!!!
So sorry you can't come to NYC to meet us Mattee. I quite understand and my thoughts are with you and Ollie.
Fun, fun, fun...
Met with Dan for dinner last night in Brooklyn. He took us to a fantastic diner. Then after a quick tour of the water front (what a view that was!) we were off to meet Michael and to go see Julian perform the last night of his residency at a lounge in the East Village. It was a fantastic show. A perfect mixture of jazz, swing and pop. We were treated to a mix of some jazz classics, some self-penned ditties and a few interpretations of pop classics too (he did a great jazz version of 'I Will Survive'). We bumped into Jeff there too which was a treat. Afterwards Michael, David, Jeff and I went on a bit of a bar crawl in the East Village bars taking in the Boiler Room, the Bar, the Cock, the Fat Cock and a number of other places that I was a little too drunk to quite remember the names of. Was one perhaps called The Bijou? :-) Easy, tiger.
Today we did an open top bus tour of downtown Manhattan followed by a trip up the World Trade Center. What a tip-top experience that is - go if you get the chance. The view is amazing and the amusements at the top kept us giggling for over two hours. After all that excitement we opted for a leisurely walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Tonight we're planning on taking it easy (!) and going to see Richard Cheese @ The Mercury Lounge. After that. Who knows?
Thursday, July 26, 2001
Jurassic Park 3...
I just went to see JP3. Was it any good? Well, the law of diminishing returns applies here big time. The plot, the special effects and set pieces were all recycled from the two previous films. That's not to say JP3 isn't not diverting. It is. Entertaining even. But you just feel you've seen it all before. The raptors are back but not as mean as before. So what, they can talk. Who cares? It's just a plot device that enevitably helps the all screaming, all panting humans get free at the end. And the film ended rather quickly too (it was only 1h 35mins anyway). I was expecting a surprise ending or at least a the-dinosaurs-get-to-America-and-cause-havoc ending but it never came. Shame really. So I'd say it's not a must see movie. Wait for the video.
Pork, Splash and er, more Splash...
Met up with Tom and Michael last night for dinner. Then on to Pork @ the Lure. The wonderfully cute and sexy Sparky, Charlie, Bryan and Daniel were there. Fun was had. Later we went to Splash. Full of post-Madonna revelry. David and I parted at that point. I went on for some more splashing about and meet more New Yorkers than I could have hoped to meet at that time of the morning.
With zero sleep I've decided to spend the day watching a film again. AI or JP3? Don't care as I shall be snoring in Row A. Dinner tonight with Dan to look forward to. So disco nap is in order too.
Who knew NYC could be this much fun!
Wednesday, July 25, 2001
David and I have just been to see Moulin Rouge in Times Square. Overall I'd have to give it 9/10 (i.e. see it in the cinema and buy the DVD when it comes out). Great songs. Great acting. The set pieces with full orchestral backing are sumptuous, rich collages of light and colour. And the effect is truly moving. For instance when Ewan McGreggor first sings 'Your Song' to Nicole Kidman I had tears running down my face (big old sentimental poof that I am). Some of the big production numbers didn't work quite as well though. The Elephant Love Medley was a bit of a let down somewhat. Despite having heard it on the soundtrack album before when seeing it on the scene the songs jarred a little bit. I think this may have been because it was being sung on top of an elephant (!). There are some very funny scenes (using Madonna's 'Like a Virgin' for example) and Ms Kidman shows a rare talent for high farce. The film basically 'worked' i.e. the formula of famous songs covered by famous people was just the right side of kitsch. It was funny without being corny. Visually stunning and yet not overwhelming. Go and see it. It's fab.
Leave me alone...
Work has been phoning me (the bastards!) while I'm on holiday. It's all gone off at work with major changes over the Active Directory project (did they wait for me to leave?!) At one point they wanted me to cut short my holiday and fly direct to Europe. Sod that. I said I would go but that I'd plan a trip after I got back. I think most things are sorted now but it doesn't let you really forget about work and relax when they keep phoning and sending bloody SMS messages. Grrrrr!
We had our US-UK gay blogmeet last night at the Phoenix. Lots of gay NYC bloggers turned up to welcome us which was lovely. Michael even bought us both cards and presents which was very thoughtful of him. Sparky has a great picture (though RJ seems to be a bit camera shy for some reason) if you want to see who was there. It was great to have a chance to put a face to some of the journals I've been reading. And it made me realise that there are many more to read. So I shall be adding a link to everyone's blog site when I get back to the UK next week.
The people in attendance were Michael, Charlie, David, Mike, RJ, Sparky, Jonathan, Bryan, Jeff, Michael and Julian
The evening ended about 4am (when they threw out the rest of the trash!) Well when I say ended...
Tonight we are going round to Tom and Michael's for a drink and then going out for some dinner with them. After that we're going to Pork at the Lure which should be a giggle.
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
New York City Boys...
We got into JFK rather later last night than originally scheduled (flight delays on United - again). Got a taxi straight to Manhattan and then checked in to the Star Hotel's Orbit Room (more on this fluorescent trippy space later). Within minutes we were out on the street again strutting down 8th Avenue like to owned the place. We joined in the drag show at Baraccuda (a long story involving a five pound note - don't ask!) and generally had a wilder time than our day's travelling should have permitted us. Up earlish this morning we've been shopping in Century 21 (we're queens on a budget, don't you know) and walked the length and breadth of Christopher Street in search of a good time. Just about to have a disco nap in preparation for tonight's Blogmeet at the Phoenix. Spoke to Michael on the phone about maybe going to the beach on Friday. Yippey!
Boston was fun. Relaxed, friendly and fun. We did a lot. Took lots of pictures and did the 'tourist thing' big time. Will blog more when I retuirn to the UK next week. It was great to meet Ron (Hi Ron!) and his squeeze Marlon. You guys have really got to come to London soon. You'll love it.
Friday, July 20, 2001
Just about to leave for the airport. Look out America! Here we come!
Last night in Sodom...
Off the the US later. So may be posting less often over the next week. Here are a few musings before I go though...
- Comptons is too disorientating. Bar Code is a much better place to spend your time. And cruisier.
- Marky. You are a wonderful man. How could I Iove you more?
- Stuart, you were looking fabulous tonight (as ever). Your six months round the world has done you the power of good.
- Marcus / Ian: two sides of the same coin (oh dear, signed my own death warrent)
- No. 19 bus drivers: learn how to driver properly, you reckless bastards!
- David: looking forward to spending time with you over the next ten days. My mantra: we don't walk, we get a cab.
- Richard, you are very cute. "Hello? Is it me you're looking for?" - in a Lionel Richie stylee.
- I think I should go to bed now before I say something I shouldn't.
Thursday, July 19, 2001
I was going to leave at 3pm to start packing...
Double bollocks! My MD just came to see me. The President of our entire company is in town and having a problem with his laptop. I'm to go to The Crown Plaza in St James at 5pm today to sort it out. There goes my packing.
Much though I hate to say this...
I don't know if any of you are Hotmail users. If you are you will know the delights of M$ take on HTTP mail, the soon to be all pervasive Passport and the omnipresent MSN Messenger. Oh and of course the spam. God, do I get lots of spam. 129 messages today alone! But I digress. The news is that Hotmail has just had a make-over. And very nice it looks too. You can see the folders all the time rather than having to switch views. You can access features that were previously rather well hidden. Much though I hate to say this. Well done Microsoft.
So much to do, so little time...
I know the problem! I was planning on packing last night. So what did I do? I went to Bar Code straight after work and got slaughtered. I think I'll have to leave work early today so I can pack before heading into town for 'cocktails' at 8. Come to think of it, just how long can it take to put three gross on condoms and a pair of boxer shorts in a suitcase anyway? :-)
Wednesday, July 18, 2001
See your twisted genius on Channel 4...
This just arrived by e-mail. Not sure what to make of it.
Subject: See your twisted genius on Channel 4
From: Andrew Harrison
I came across your site a bit randomly via a google search for something else & wondered if you'd be interested in this....
(Also with mucho mention of cute boys on your site you should check out world of wonder's website for a sneaky peek at our 101 rent boys documentary).
Channel 4 is calling for creative geniuses, and wants to give them a chance to see their work broadcast on national TV.
Adam and Joe are presenting a new series to be broadcast later this year showing the best of ...
...Thanks for your time,
Andrew Harrison, Series Producer, Takeover TV.
Hmmm. Do I need more exposure? Does a donkey like carrots? News just in: shit found in woods. Police suspect bears.
Tuesday, July 17, 2001
Hello my new friends...
Hello to everlasting blogstalker and pleaseohplease. Both new additions to my side panel, my blog reading list and my circle of friends. If anyone else links to me please let me know and I'll add you guys too.
In An Old English Country House...
"You rang, M'Lady?"
"Yes, Parker. Prepare the Rolls Royce and bring it round to the front of the house"
"A trip, M'Lady?"
"We're going to Buckingham Palace, Parker. To collect our MBE."
"Very good, M'Lady"
More Songs about Buildings and Food...
I've been thinking about Talking Heads today. Don't know why. Just reminiscing I guess. Fear Of Music, Remain In Light and More Songs About Buildings and Food are three of my favourite albums. After buying each one I played them to death. At the time they were a soundtrack to my life. Shame Talkijg Heads kind of fizzled artistically after that. The other related album that never left my record player of that era was Byrne and Eno's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Unparalleled to this day. Exorcism to a disco beat. Where have all the good albums gone I wonder?
Monday, July 16, 2001
New York City Boys...
This is a blatant request for reading material. If you are a Boston / New York blogger and think that I might benefit from reading your blog please add a comment below with your URL. I'd like to read what you're all about before face-to-face / skin-on-skin next week at the Blogmeet. Thanks, my American chums.
Sunday, July 15, 2001
Debauchery till the wee small hours...
We never made it to G-A-Y last night. We got way laid.
First we went to Chris's birthday party at the Eddie. His boyfriend Graham had hired the upstairs room and laid on a fantastic spread. The place was packed with his friends, family and people he used to work with. Chris was looking particularly hunky and gorgeous. Also I found out something about I didn't know. He used to be a lead singer in a heavy metal band called This Other Eden. They had three singles out. I don't think any charted. How he'd kept that quite I've no idea.
At midnight we moved on to our second party of the night. The sexy boys who live round the corner Tom, David and Matt where throwing a party to celebrate their new back garden being finished. And rather fabulous it is too. Again the place was packed (this time wall to wall with cute boys). The food was amazing, the alcohol copious and the Charlie was everywhere if you get my drift. In fact there seemed to be no shortage of C, D or K from all directions. Not that I partake in such things you understand (no really, I don't!) By 3am the party was in full swing. And I use the word 'swing' advisedly. We eventually left at 8:15am and we weren't the last to go either. Walking back in the early morning sunshine Marky asked my how come I was so bouncy and full of energy after a night of debauchery. How I'd mange to stay up all night (fnah, fnah) without the need of chemical assistance. I told him what I always tell him. It's stamina counts in the end. :)
Saturday, July 14, 2001
Quiet before the storm...
I go up early this morning at 6:30am. Just woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. So I decided to watch a film. First I watched Almost Famous. It's a fun film with some good lines. Not quite as good as I wanted it to be but OK for that time of the morning. Then later I watched Nurse Betty. What a load of crap that film is. It was supposed to be a comedy but at the start it has a really gruesome scalping. Yuk! I waited for the comedy to kick in. It didn't. Now feeling slightly dissatisfied (the way that a crap film makes you feel after stealing two hours of your life) I'm going to get some shut-eye before tonight's fun and games commence.
Friday, July 13, 2001
Single, Madonna fan seeks similar...
Do you live in or near New York? Do you want to go see Madonna on 26th July? My friend Adam has a spare ticket and is running a competition for a date with him and to go and see the Material Girl. Send him an e-mail (50 words of less) and maybe a picture by next Friday 20th. He'll decide by Sunday 22nd.
Here's his press release.
I have two (expensive) floor seats for Madonna's upcoming concert at Madison Square Garden (7/26) and I have decided to put myself out there and have a contest to find my date for the concert. Will I get a date? I hope so. But, most of all I hope to have some fun and maybe meet some interesting people.
All the info can be found here:
http://madonnaconcert.tripod.com/ - this site SHOULD hopefully be live by Friday, July 13th around noon. Or, I can be e-mailed directly at: NYCDATE4Madonna@aol.com with 50 words or fewer as to why someone should be my date (pictures, references will help their entry).
If you need any info on Adam himself ask me. Tell him if you're friend of mine and it may hold some sway :-)
Busy busy busy...
This Saturday night I have a full dance card. Going to a joint Birthday Party in a private room in a gay pub in Islington first, then on to a barbecue at the home of a nice bunch of lads (who happen all to be very cute and a loose threesome) that live just round the corner from us and then we have VIP tickets to Boyz's 10th birthday bash at G-A-Y in town.
Thursday, July 12, 2001
Insult to injury...
Just spent twenty-five minutres on the telephone to Ticketmaster in the States. Why? To try and get a refund on the tickets I bought for me and David to go and see the Pet Shop Boys' Wotapalava tour. The concert has been cancelled so (obviously) I wanted my money back. Easy to understand I would have thought. Concert cancelled. Refund due. Easy. No concert - money back. They have $176.90 of my money that I want it back. Sooner rather than later. Now even. Right now. (You can see where this is going, I'm sure). Well, Bob, I-will-be-your-customer-representative-today-sir didn't quite seem to understand the idea. No, Bob I don't have an account with you. No, Bob I don't want to swap for a different date, the tour is cancelled. No, Bob I don't want a credit note, what would I do with a credit note? No, Bob I just want a full refund. No, Bob I'm not interested in joining your mailing list, or receiving information from your strategic partner American Express. No, Bob. No. Look. Bob. Look! All I'm asking is for you to give me my money back. I want a refind, Bob. Look. Now look! Just GIVE ME MY FUCKING MONEY BACK! .... ....thank you. Yes. Sorry, I didn't mean to shout. I know you only work there. I'm sorry. Yes, of course. No, I understand that $3 is for the handling charge. No, that's quite alright. No, I'm sorry too. Yes. Yes. OK. Goodbye (clunk).
Since my young apprentice started on Monday I’ve been rather busy. Not because I’ve been trying to find him work to do for the stake of it but because I’ve been spending my time explaining some of the things that really need to be done. Stuff I’ve been putting on the backburner for months. So all this week we’ve been upgrading our users workstations from NT4 to Windows 2000. Something I’d been meaning to get round to last year but never did. In fact he’s a very fast worker. I thought it’d take at least a week to do. But actually we’ll be finished much sooner. Probably by tomorrow. Amazing the capacity for an enthusiastic sixteen year old to get things done quickly. Er… let me rephrase that…
Wednesday, July 11, 2001
"Seeing guys like Atomic Kitten perform something from a West End show will be absolutely unique." May God have mercy on us.
Juggy Jones Shakes His Tail Feather...
Pop Quiz team member supreme Darren was doing the Pop Quiz last night. And a grand quiz it was too. Only Shaun and I were there as the International Jetsetters' plane had been delayed and Danny, the rather sexy ginger-haired-possible-co-opted-member, fled just before we started, claiming he had to meet his boyfriend. Chicken.
The quiz was all Soul, Motown, Tamla & Northern Soul. Our hopes weren’t high. We didn’t do very well. Only fifteen out of twenty-three. In fact afterwards Wendy kept finding people who had done better and presenting their scores to us. I think she was trying to make a point. Maybe we had made too much of a show having won twice in the last three weeks. We were suitably humbled.
Round one was covers. We needed to supply the original artist plus the covering artist. We got all but one artist right. So let’s do a little quiz. I give you the song and you supply me with the two answers, original artist and someone who’s covered it.
- ‘Don’t leave me this way’
- ‘Wherever I lay my hat (that’s my home)’
- ‘I second that emotion’
- ‘I can’t dance to that music they’re playing’
- ‘It’s a shame’
- ‘Love hangover’
The next round was Marvin Gaye duets. We got Kim Weston with ‘It takes two’ and Diana Ross with ‘You are everything’ but not Tammi Terrell with ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’. Then there was a question with six Diana Ross and the Supremes’ intros. We got ‘Where did our love go’, ‘Baby love’ ‘You can’t hurry love’ and ‘You keep me hangin’ on’ but failed to spot ‘Love child’ or ‘Come see about me’. Next we had to name the three artists performing ‘I heard it through the grapevine’. We got Mr Gaye but failed to spot either Gladys Knight & her Pips or Smokie Robinson & his Miracles. The odd one out round was easy. Of the three songs one was sung by Michael Jackson was a solo artist, the others were by The Jackson 5. Bonus point was to name all five members of the Jackson 5. Any ideas? We got all but one right.
We then went to pieces a bit. In the next four questions we only picked up one point. Isley Brothers – ‘This old heart of mine’, Stevie Wonder – Uptight, The Four Tops – ‘I can’t help myself’, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – Heatwave were all played. You needed the song, the artist and the extra part of the song title that was in brackets. Can you get them? Not easy. Wendy gave a bonus point for the extra bracketed bits of the tiles.
The penultimate round was What Happens Next? We had the opening bars to Martha Reeves & The Vandellas’ ‘Dancing in the street’. We needed the first twenty-five words. We walked it. Can you get it too?
The final round was to say whether a song played was on the Motown record label or not. We had Diana Ross singing ‘When you tell me that you love me’, Charlene singing ‘I’ve never been to me’ and Syreeta singing ‘Your kiss is sweet’. We got all three right. Have a go.
The winners choose a bottle of bubbly missing out on the grand total of eleven squids.
Shaun dashed off to meet a man but Darren and I stayed for an after hours drink. Games were suggested but I was feeling a bit tired so we disappeared about 1-ish.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001
Sports and Shorts (the naked truth)...
After having sneaked into the Madonna concert last Saturday I went to Sports and Shorts at the Stag in Victoria. Earlier in the day I had bought some Arsenal shorts and socks to go with my Arsenal shirt. When I turned up at the pub they had no changing room :( so I got changed in the ladies loo instead. Class act, me. I think I looked quite the part. Number-one crop, sexy footy kit, broad grin. I scanned the pub but there was no-one there I knew. Hmph. The place was packed though with every coloured strip you could think of. The ultraviolet lights made the strips glow in the goom like gaily coloured pixies in pixieland - only a lot butcher. I bought a beer and stood by myself at the bar. The people were friendly. A few came and spoke to me. All very social. Well, before long someone had looked me up and down and fallen to their knees infront of me. Gulp. I tried to look casual. Looking at my watch and supping my ale. Gulp. The guy leaned forward on his knees and inched down my shorts. Gulp. One thing lead to another and we soon had a small audience round us transfixed. A few nudges and winks later we decided to retire to a cubicle to be on our own for something a bit more serious. Turned out his name was Lofty. But not that Lofty. I bought him a drink for his trouble. As I say, class act, me.
Competitions were being run all night; wet football strip, most original strip etc. I was back at the bar at this point watching the proceedings when I spotted someone I knew from yonks ago. He was on stage entering one of the competitions. He didn't win but certainly scored later (fnah, fnah). We went back to his place and had a fucking fabulous time. His squeeze is a DJ so I made myself scarce and was home by 4:30am.
So all in all it was a top, top night: Madge, exhibitionist sex and a hot shag. What more could you ask for?
I have just got my new Creative DAP Jukebox. And I love it. It's about the same size and weight as a portable CD player i.e. you carry it in a bag or a very big pocket. It holds a whopping 6Gb of data - MP3, WMA or WAV files. That's about 100 hours of music at 128kb encoding. For starters I've just stuffed my entire Pet Shop Boys collection, the latest Depeche Mode, Travis and Geri CDs, all the Harry Potter audio books, loads of disco and chillout complilations, and various other music I had lying around. I can now play it through my speakers at work, listen to it on the tube and will have some music for when David and I are travelling to the States in ten days time. It does loads of groovy things like built in recording, and four speaker output but the thing that makes it so cool is you can choose the music you want to hear on the fly. Tune-tastic!
Monday, July 09, 2001
Always two there are. A master and an apprentice...
I have a new guy working for me today on two week's Work Experience. Alistair. He's sixteen with a blonde crew-cut (number two). As a result my blog entries may be a little fewer and a bit further inbetween while I take him in hand (-;
Sunday, July 08, 2001
I did it, I did it...!
OK. I can tell you now. I went to see Madonna at Earls Court last night. Did I pay? No. Was I given a ticket? No.
I sneaked in. Not only that, I had Access All Areas.
For months I've been trying to get Madonna tickets. They always sell out within minutes. Finally and unexpectedly on Friday I had a way of getting in. For free. A chance too good to miss. I can't tell you exactly how I did it to protect my accomplice. But I could do it again no problem.
As with any artist the best tours are those that are to promote a greatest hits collection. You get all your favourites and not so much of the 'new stuff'. In 1990 I saw the Blonde Ambition tour and in 1993 the Girlie Show tour. Both were very different. But the former was more enjoyable as it was to promote The Immaculate Collection. Everyone knew every song backwards. The atmosphere was incredible then as Madonna was giving us what we all wanted. I knew that this tour might not have quite the same energy as that but all the same my hopes were high.
All in all the Drowned World show is a good show. Maybe not worth the full £85 but a good show. For nearly two hours we were dazzled non-stop by amazing dancing, lighting and sounds. It was just spectacle after spectacle. Predictably almost every track was from either 'Ray of Light' or 'Music'. First we had the British section (cue Madge with electric guitar) then the Japanese section (with Crouching Tiger flying/fighting). A shortened American section (she started 20 minutes late so some songs were cut from this section) and finally the Spanish section. There was back projection, plasma screens and monitors everywhere. So much stuff was on stage in fact that it was sometimes hard to know where to look for the dancers or indeed Madonna herself.
Obviously Madonna was central, key to all this but at the same time you couldn't but help but feel that she was but a cog in a bigger machine on display. The musicians, sound engineers, lighting designers, choreographers, animators, computers programmers, banks of computers and control equipment were probably the uncredited stars of the show. It was as slick as any in the West End. But at the same time it lacked spontaneity. Madonna barely talked to the audience (except to swear or say, "Come on London!" in a Dick Van Dyke stylee). It was almost sterile. Impressive, amazing, watchable, entertaining but sterile. Rather like watching a special effects ladened film. Impressive but mildly disappointing. I was left wondering what would happen if something went wrong. If a computer broken down would they cancel the show or have to start again from the beginning?
As I say I did enjoy it. It is Madonna after all. The place was packed with queens of course.
Saturday, July 07, 2001
Mad On Her...
I'm doing something naughty tonight. Will blog tomorrow revealing all. Unless I'm in the cells.
Friday, July 06, 2001
Sports and shorts...
Mark is away in Brighton on a conference from Saturday so I'll be all on my own for four days. I've got plans to go to a BBQ at my sister's early Saturday evening but am at a loose end later on. Hmmm. What to do...? Oh, I've an idea! Does anyone what to Sports and Shorts with me in Victoria? I don't want to go by myself. I'm shy :-)
Patch over Brass Eye...
I have long been a fan of Chris Morris. I've always found his work seminal. I listened in awe to his radio shows on both Radio 4 and Radio 1. I watched and loved The Day Today (which introduced Alan Partridge to the world) and then the astounding Brass Eye. More recently Jam and the related CD Blue Jam again forged into new territory. Essentially it was TV on LSD. It was then with some expectation last night that I settled down to watch a new Brass Eye special. Shame C4 cancelled it. 'Later in the month', they say. We'll see.
Thought for the day...
Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.
I don't know if you're been getting this spam recently saying "Someone has a crush on you!". It's probably some scam to take you to a web site and to get you to sign up for something or other. So I've not bothered checking it out. Despite being sent a number of clues as to who is supposed to fancy me.
The BBC (of all people) have now created a quiz so you too can find out if a friend secretly fancies you. I'm not sure if I'd want to know... but then maybe I would.
Sorry if you're reading this and you do have a crush on me. Perhaps a more direct approach next time :)
Thursday, July 05, 2001
Have your say...
Having gazed enviously at other blog sites with their comments I've now installed a cheap and cheerful version myself. What do you think? OK, OK I realise this is a not so subtle hint to ask you to leave a comment :-)
Music to my ears...
I fancy getting an MP3 player for my trip to the States in a couple of weeks time. Does anyone own a Creative DAP Jukebox (aka NOMAD Jukebox in the US)? I'm thinking of buying one and wanted to know what people thought. Let me know what you think. Thanks.
Gone but not forgotten...
Well blow me...
...research in the UK and US among gay men now suggests that oral sex may be responsible for up to 8% of HIV infections.
Oh dear. After being told for years that a blow-job is 'low risk' are we now being told otherwise? Full story here.
Thought for the day...
Nobody's ugly after 2am.
Wednesday, July 04, 2001
Later that same night...
XXXX had eyes on stalks in that they were both cruising wildly. XXXX took some boy into the cottage and had sex with him. Then came out for another one - called, confusingly, XXXX. This XXXX had a snog with XXXX, then someone else, then XXXX and then XXXX (He really wasn't XXXX type but XXXX was drunk!). XXXX kept saying to XXXX (loudly), "he's staring at XXXX crotch". Heavens. The extra shouty bits were in clear evidence by that point.
Poor XXXX cruised this guy all night but when XXXX started pointing at him - he fled.
By 1:30pm I pulled XXXX out and said "HOME!".
Normal Tuesday really.
This is an excerpt from e-mail I sent to David earlier (with names blanked to protect the innocent - and not so innocent)
Shaven and Shaun…
- We won last night’s Pop Quiz at the Retro Bar. Hurrah!
- We won the prize money. Hurrah!
- We have a new team member. Hurrah!
With the recent departure of Dave to Oz our team has been short of one member. Darren’s ex-flat mate, Shaun came along for a tryout and everything seemed to work out just fine. He knows his stuff, he works in the HMV and he’s cute. Hard to say no really. So the team consisted of David, Darren, Shaun and myself. Shaun's hunky friend Robbie came along to watch.
The quiz itself was the usual fare of current chart hits, new releases and covers. The first round presented no problems with Hear’say’s ‘Show Me The Way To Your Love’, Janet Jackson’s ‘All For You’ and Steps’ ‘Here And Now’. Personally I preferred my initial spelling of Ms Jackson’s name as Jacket Jackson though. Has a nice ring to it. The second round was cover versions. Prince covering Sheryl Crowe’s ‘Every Day Is A Winding Road’ and David Gray covering Soft Cell’s ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’ were easy to get. Tori Amos was covering something that eluded us though. We plumped for REM but it was (amazingly) The Cure’s ‘Love Song’. We rather stumbled on the TV themes round too. Only getting ‘Call My Bluff’ and missing out on ‘Maigret’ and ‘Come Dancing’. There then came a very odd song about rabbits that we just guessed at. Correctly as it turned out: Thumper, Bugs Bunny and Peter Rabbit. The new releases should have been easy. Strokes and Wheatus were quickly identified. Dane Bowers however sounded to us more like Wycleff Jean and Brian Harvey! It was late OK?! We’d been drinking! The next round was the eighties. We strolled it with Black’s ‘Sweetest Smile’, The Communards’ ‘You Are My World’ and The Blow Monkey’s ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way’. We got the year right too! 1987. The next question was to simply identify that U2’s Elevation was from the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. We got a bonus point for artist and title. Dolly Parton made a rare appearance in the penultimate round where we had to guess the eleven words after the opening lines of ‘Here You Come Again’. We failed. Big time. The last question was easy though. Spot the connection between an Air track, The Prodigy’s Firestarter, Michael Jackson’s Earthsong and Hear’say’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. Answer: The Elements.
We got sixteen points out of twenty-one. Not bad. There was a tie-breaker though. Being Shaun’s first time (and the fact that we’re mean) we made him go up. Just to torture the boy even more the first tune was a dead heat so it had to be rerun. Shaun then came through and went on to pick the money from the five possible prizes.
Afterwards Darren, Shaun, Robbie and I went to Bar Code. It all went off. Details later.
Tuesday, July 03, 2001
The silence is broken....
Factual errors: You can't fry brain directly. The tissue would "melt." It is necessary to marinate brain before cooking (not only human brain).
I had my eyes closed at that point. And it gave me nightmares last night too. I'm such a wimp.
Summer Mix 2001...
The previously mentioned delightful thing I got in the post today was a CD from Ron. His Summer Mix 2001 has been playing through my speakers all day. Lots of fabby early eighties tunes segued into two acts and with an inspirational dream sequence in the middle. Thanks, Ron. You're a champ!
Mardi Gras pictures...
Here are my pictures from last Saturday's Mardi Gras. They are many of the march but some from the park. All are thumbnails so click on any of them to get a slightly bigger version. I have bigger still (oo er missus). If you want me to send you any just let me know.
This slight picture of Paul Keating's crotch may please Ian and Iain.
Scally – what are you implying about me? Oh, I see.
I just paid a cheque into my bank account. Not a big one. In doing so I used up the last of the forms in my current paying-in book. It made me realise that I don't get many cheques. It's taken me four years to use up the book. Does anybody want to send me a cheque to make me feel richer? Even a little bit.
Less pissed off today...
I'm a lot happier today. Not quite so busy at work. Feeling better about Wotafuckup being cancelled. Lots of people have suggested doing things in Boston and NYC when we're there so I don't think we'll be twiddling our thumbs (as if). I've still got this stinking cold though - despite early nights and drinking lots of water. Maybe I should drink lots of beer and stay out late instead. Something fab arrived through the post today which I shall blog about a bit later. I got the Mardi Gras pictures back from the weekend last night. They're great too - again I'll blog them later when I have more time. Got a meeting in 5 mins. Yes, I do sometimes work :)
Monday, July 02, 2001
I'm so pissed off...
Plan B - everyone must die. Wotafuckup.
Sunday, July 01, 2001
Yesterday was fun. Watched the march. Got drunk. Went on a bit of the march. Got drunker. Had a drink in Soho. Got drunker still. Went to Finsbury Park. Got even drunker. Saw Hear'say, Atmoic Kitten, Steps and A1. Got even drunker than before. Went to the Eddie. Got drunkest. Came home. Passed out. Increadible I have pictures too. Will post later in the week.
Somehow managed to get up early today and did six hours work down in Streatham Hill. Due a quiet night in methinks.
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