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
Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Tonight in Sodom...
Just getting ready for the Soft Cell concert in Brixton. And on Hallowe'en too.Yippee!
A shrew? I don't think so. But then I don't think of myself as a baboon so what do I know? I like the bit about, "baboons are highly regarded as lovers and are frisky and creative in the bedroom." Hee, hee.
Red, white and blue...
If Osama Bin Laden wanted to stem the tide of UK gay bloggers he missed his chance last night. There was a highly concentrated pod at the Retro Bar last night. We stood strong and we stood proud. Not only that - we won too.
Very Red: I was publicly humiliated when the music stopped and I was still singing Geri Halliwell's 'Scream If You Want To Go Faster' at full volume.
Very White: When David correctly identified Kelis as one of the answers I noticed that there were next to no black people in the room.
Very Blue: The language that rang around the room when we won the money. £64 to share amongst the four of us.
Tuesday, October 30, 2001
The Pink Flamingo...
The Guardian aren't always that keen on giving out high star ratings for the theatre, film and pop concerts that they review. However today's review of Soft Cell's gig in Leeds got the full FIVE STARS! Wow!
5 stars - Leeds University
Dave Simpson - Guardian Unlimited
Tuesday October 30, 2001
Suicide and Sparks laid the groundwork, but between 1981 and 1984, Soft Cell defined the synthesiser duo. All these years later, they are still playing to packed houses - and opening number Memorabilia sounds anything but dated. This is either because the song has been meticulously updated as a post-techno gay disco anthem, or because Soft Cell were so ahead of their time in the first place.
Everybody's making comebacks nowadays, but Soft Cell have more to offer than nostalgia. With Marc Almond's solo career at a halt, and David Ball refreshed by his time in 1990s dance act the Grid, the duo seem determined to prove that they can once again be vital.
To assist, Almond has a new blond crop that takes years off him, and a nervous, twitchy dance that matches the music's speedy urgency. A clutch of new songs update the classic Soft Cell sound; along with Almond's soaring vocals and Ball's Motowny synth melodies, the bass frequencies do things to the human body that are illegal. Monoculture spells out the manifesto: "Why don't I give up, submit to the God of the bland?" crows Almond, answering his question with the vigour of the song.
While their trademark stomp benefits from modern technology, not everything has changed. Almond - the Leeds Warehouse cloakroom attendant who chose to live out his fantasies - is still immersed in lowlife. Divided Souls finds endless sleaze in the life of Marvin Gaye; Last Chance introduces a lover who "looks like a lady of the night, in see-thru mac and 60s tack". And yet, there's something cuddly about Almond. When he sings Bedsitter, the timeless tale of clubland alienation, generations cheer in empathy. Many in the crowd bear the ravages of 1980s hair abuse, but promisingly, there are hordes of younger fans too.
As the hits trundle out, it's difficult to resist the sense of danger, sex and radicalism that permeates these songs, especially vibrant in pop's current, colourless void. After Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, it's time to say hello again, and welcome back.
Soft Cell play Brixton Academy, London SW9 (020-7771 2000), tomorrow.
And I shall be there to see them! Can't wait. It'll be my fifth time of seeing them this year so far.
It's a certain blogger's birthday this coming Monday. What should we do?
Your starter for ten...
University Challenge is that old quiz show that pits one uni against another - on each team there are four, usually ugly, brainiacs fighting it out to see who are the top bananas in the intellectual trivia department. Jeremy Paxman sits in the quiz chair and spits out the questions and the derision with equal relish.
Mark and I are avid watchers. Normally just to see how many we can get right. More often than not we do OK, however last night's show seemed particularly easy. Maybe it was because they obviously had a gay question setter in there somewhere. How else could you explain the questions with such bitchy quotes and the fact that in one round you had to identify Bette Davis films from a single screen shot of each? Needless to say we walked it.
One of the questions in last night's show was: Who said "The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true"? The answer was of course Robert Oppenheimer, that well know German and atomic bomber.
David and I normally exchange text messages the start of the show about the attractiveness (or not!) of the team members. Proving you can be be shallow and deep at the same time.
Monday, October 29, 2001
Rumoured to feature an old Earth settlement, Terra Nova, which was colonised by Earth before fast interstellar space travel was possible. After the initial group of colonist settled down, Earth wanted to send a second wave of colonists, but the inhabitants of Terra Nova refused. Shortly thereafter, all contact with the colony was lost, and as the planet was nine years travel away, no investigation team was ever sent. Now, Captain Archer and his crew go to investigate and see if there are any humans still left.
This sixth Star Trek:Enterprise episode was a bit of a "ho-hum" episode. Not enough Trip in it for my liking. Interesting to see it was directed by LeVar Burton though.
To do list...
- Contact London Partnerships Registry to double-check time on Saturday and give names of our two 'best men'
- Organize balloon delivery to the Retro Bar
- Hire suits from Moss Bros.
- Ask the wonderful Wendy to sort out the flowers
- Book Pizza Express for meal afterwards for those that might be hungry
- Write short speech about Mark
- Go on stag night
Now what have I forgotten?
Sunday, October 28, 2001
On my mark...ACTION! (Part II)
The film crew picked me up at 7pm last night and whisked off to a secret location (well, a flat in Highbury) to be filmed getting changed into my kit and talking a bit more about why footie kit is sexy. They were very interested in finding out about what went on in sports clubs like 'Sports and Shorts' and I assured them that no sex went on. Well, not usually anyway! They asked me about this web site and I read some of it out to them which they loved. They even said they would put my URL on screen. Yeah, right! Like that's going to happen!
Later we headed off to The Stag in Victoria to 'Sports and Shorts' proper. The place was not as busy as usual but more than I feared it would be. The combination of it being 'invitation only' and the fact that there were lots of parties on in town that night meant that the numbers were down. Initially anyway. Mark told me that while some people didn't want to come because Channel Four were filming others had made a special trip down there for exactly the same reason. So by 11pm to place was getting pretty busy. Iain and Scally were both there with their respective beaux. It was too noisy to do any sound recording inside so the crew just shot video inside. The crew also went outside and did some vox pop with a number of people who volunteered. In fact they were queuing up to say their piece. 'Football kit is the new leather', 'football kit is set to take over the gay scene' and all that bollocks. I was getting a bit bored of it all by then to be honest. I'd been asked the same questions all day and had really done the subject to death. So I just hung around the bar and got drunk at Channel Four's expense.
Later on when the crew came back inside they tried to do a set-up piece with someone fondling my bum. Like I had to asked twice! I think they wanted to try and play up the sexual aspect of the place - whereas it's really just a fun night of drinking and mucking about. Setting up the shot was all a bit staged in that 'lights! camera! action!' kind of a way. Eventually they got the shot they were after though. The found some cute boy to do the fondling so I mustn't grumble. He gave me a hard-on but sadly once the shot was over I couldn't see my new found friend for dust. Telly tart! (Takes one to know one, I suppose!). I can see his gaydar profile now:-
Dick Size: Large
Special Interests: Buttock fondling, being on telly
The crew left just after midnight but the presenter, Amory and I stayed on to the bitter end. If I'd known I had two hours of nightbussing it across town in the driving rain ahead of me in order to get home then I'd have left earlier. But back at the pub we tucked into another round of free drinks and chatted about how the had gone day. Amory seemed to think it had all gone very well and thanked me for my input. He said that the 7 hours of filming would be condensed down to about 5-7 minutes and the show would be screened some time in the Sprint of next year. Just before he left, Amory said, "Did you enjoy the day? Would you put anything differently?" and before I got a chance to answer he said, "Not that it matters now of course, we're got your signed release form!"
Why does that not fill me with confidence? Oh well. I can expect a few I-told-you-so's no doubt.
Is there anything I would put differently? Yes, probably. Would I do it all again? Definitely.
Saturday, October 27, 2001
On my mark...ACTION! (Part I)
The first set of filming is now over. I have a two hour break to grab some food before we start again. We started at 2pm doing some external shots at the Arsenal ground, our local football stadium. Amory (eh, stage name I think) asked me various questions as we sat on a wall over looking the terraces - what I thought about football in general, why I am a fan - stuff like that. Then we walked a bit along the wall of the ground and he asked what I liked about football kit. We chatted, we laughed. Then we moved on to the Arsenal shop where I talked about some of the stuff they sell and especially why I like the Arsenal kit. I also pointed out who the cutest players were too, the Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp in particular. We chatted some more, we laughed some more. After we had finished there we went to JD Sports in the Holloway Road to film Amory looking at some England kit and trying some on. Cue: hilarious scenes of oversized and undersized kit being tried on in the changing rooms. I eventually persuaded him to buy a simple England shirt and shorts so he can look the part tonight at 'Sports and Shorts'. I think he was pleasantly surprised that he didn't feel a complete prat in the kit. Maybe we'll make a footie fan of him yet.
You'll be pleased to hear I was the very model of discretion - apart from saying 'up the Arse' every chance I could. Let's face it it's low brow TV not High Art.
I'm ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille...
Filming starts in one hour. I'm a bit nervous but quite excited too.
I AM 49% GEEK...
I probably work in computers, or a history deptartment at a college. I never really fit in with the "normal" crowd. But I have friends, and this is a good thing.
Take the GEEK Test at Fuali.com!
[Thanks to Michael for the link]
The blogger spell-check is back! Hurray!
Friday, October 26, 2001
There comes a time in every geek's life...
...when they set up a webcam. So here's mine. It's currently pointing at my chair at work so you can see whether I'm at my desk or not. It updates every 60 seconds.
This morning I got a call from front desk. I had a package to be collected from goods in on the ground floor. The normal delivery guy didn't want to bring it up. Odd, I thought. So I went down thinking, 'what a lazy git'. When I got down there they showed me the package. It was from the Middle East. No big deal. I work for a Saudi company. It’s not unusual for me to get packages from the Middle East. No reason for him to be worried. No reason at all. Funny how perfectly rational people behave irrationally in times of war. Idiot. Lazy idiot.
OK so I’m back in my office and the package has been sitting on my desk all morning. Funny how I haven’t got round to opening it yet? Me? Worried? No, no I’ve just been too busy. Far too busy. I’ll wait until I’ve eaten my sandwich anyway. Then maybe I’ll open it later. Or maybe on Monday. Or get someone else to do it.
OK, I’m the idiot.
Get your kit on…
Tomorrow night is ‘Sports and Shorts’ at the Stag in Vauxhall. It’s David Overkamp’s 30th birthday too so the event is invitation only but you can download one now. I’m really looking forward to it. Lots of boys in football kit all up for a bit of fun. And we're promised a 'special night'.
Lights, camera, action…
And on a completely related subject, Channel 4 is making a documentary tomorrow in which I am taking a small part. During the day we are filming at the ‘World of Arsenal’ shop in Finsbury Park, at another football shop in North London, at a flat near the Arsenal ground and at the Arsenal ground itself. Then I’m being interviewed about why I think soccer kit is sexy – that should be easy! In the evening the crew will be following me to ‘Sports and Shorts’. All very innocent really.
I first took an interest in football when I was very young. I didn’t know I was gay then. It was just a fun thing to do with friends. Kick a ball about. I used to play in goal and, though I say so myself, was actually not bad. When I got to secondary school (age 11) I began to realise that actually I wasn’t as good as I’d previously thought. I didn’t get picked for the team anymore so lost interest. I still found football alluring though. I had a poster of the delicious Peter Osgood on my wall for Chelsea was my team. “Blue is the colour, football is the game. We’re all together and winning is our aim”. I didn’t think of it as a sexual thing – just plain old fashioned hero worship. Watching BBC1’s Grandstand on a Saturday afternoon soon told me that I was wrong though. Boy, was it sexual thing.
At the end of every Grandstand show they would do a round up of the football scores and usually interview one football team or the other - live! More often than not they would conduct the interview in the dressing room. After 90 minutes on a pitch the players are hot, sweaty and covered in mud. So the first thing they do in the dressing room is strip off and jump in the communal bath. For some reason they never seemed to have showers in these places. So the cameras would gingerly peer through the steam and mist to reveal eleven fit, young men romping around in the soapy waters of a huge bath. The interviewer would try and conduct a serious discussion where of course your attention would be firmly fixed on what was going on behind. Could you see a flash of thigh, a bit of bum or even a soapy dick? While the guy being interviewed tried to keep a straight face his team mates would be pushing, shoving, rubbing and squeezing under water to try and distract him. It was a thrilling thing to watch and often very funny. And strangely erotic too. That's when I became a football fan.
During my school years I didn’t really have much time for football. I was too busy studying and trying to learn rudimentary social skills. I was much better at the former than the latter. I eventually won an Exhibition to study at Cambridge where every sport was encouraged - except football. I played hockey, squash, badminton and tennis. My picture of Peter Osgood was replaced by one of Debbie Harry. I was too busy trying to be 'normal'. Not that that lasted long!
Shortly after leaving college I ‘came out’. It was received wisdom at the time that football was anti-gay. That is, it was viewed as aggressive, loutish and homophobic. The epitome of what was wrong with 80s Britain. Hooliganism was rife and soccer crowd violence at matches and on the streets afterwards was common.
However as the 80s drew to a close, football had started to change its image. There was more money in the game thanks to lucrative television contracts. The era of the all-seated stadium had been ushered in by a number of tragic accents at grounds. And gradually it became OK again to stand up and say “I like football”. English teams were again allowed to play in Europe after being banned for a number of years for having violent fans. Even the national team was doing better too.
By that time I was going out with an Arsenal fan, or a Gooner as he would prefer to be known. He would take me to the odd match and I have to say I was transfixed. It was unforgettable. It was magic. It was amazing. The roar of the crowd at a football match is like nothing I’d ever witnessed before. 65,000 people all watching, chanting and shouting as one. It is an almost religious experience. You could feel the emotion pouring onto the pitch from the crowd. The crowd was largely men. So you had men watching men. Men idolising men. Men loving men. There was so much testosterone sloshing around that without precautions you could have caught twins or something.
I naturally became a gooner myself and I soon realised there was quite a group of gay football fans. There was even a Gay Football Supporters Network. Somehow football was being reclaimed by those you had long not felt as though they belonged. Clubs began to acknowledge they had gay fans too. Footballers would even play up to the idea that they had gay fans. Giggs and especially Beckham started to do homoerotic calendars and overtly sexual magazine spreads. They obviously welcomed the attention. And we wanted to give it to them (missus!).
I should perhaps point out that you can be a football fan without finding the players attractive, and indeed you can find players sexy without being a fan. However most gay football fans not only appreciate the Beautiful Game but whose beauties wearing the kit too.
So there you have it, I'm a gay football fan.
The world's most evil kitten...
http://www.konstruktiv.net/kitty_02.html (Turn the sound up) [Thanks to PopBitch]
Thursday, October 25, 2001
I am 19% Punk...
It's not a fashion craze, or even a cool thing to do. I should just swallow it, get Lost, and take my friends with me.
Take the PUNK/POSER Test at Fuali.com!
[Thanks to Sparky for the link.]
The Joy Of Text...
David spends a lot on phones calls, particularly using SMS. For our American friends SMS stands for Short Message System/Service and gives you the ability to send text messages to and from mobile phones. It's fast, only costs a few pence and is unidirectional like e-mail. This is immensely useful as it let's you send messages like - "I'll be a few minutes late" or "Meet you in the pub at 6". People in Europe send zillions of these SMS messages every day. Note that we are not *always* late or *always* in the pub. Just often.
The oddest SMS I ever got was I think sent to me in error. It simple said "Let's do it again tonight - Woffy X". I didn't recognise the number and didn't have the courage to send back a reply to whoever Woffy is.
I've just got this month's phone bill. Not too frightening at £40.99 (over half of which is SMS, many to David!). Last month it was a tad over £143 (gasp!). The previous month it was in excess of £173 (eeks!). Luckily I have a very nice boss - who agrees to pay all my bills! The joys of having a company phone, eh?
A good night all round…
Last night was Bar Code’s “5th birthday party”. In fact that was a bit a misnomer as it wasn’t actually the correct date for their birthday. They had brought it forward from 12th December to last night as business has been bad recently and they wanted to pep things up a bit. Get a few more punters in. And selling all drinks at £1 was a sure fire way of doing this. The place was packed.
It was great to spend time with Mark, Will, Paul (fwoah!), Colin, Carl, Ian, Roger, Michael, Steve, Terry and, towards the end, David and Marcus.
To top the night off Arsenal won 3-1 at home. Just the score they needed to take them through into the second phase of the Champions League. We love you Thierry Henry for your injury-time winner. Go Gunners! Go!
Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Up the Arse...!
As I walked to work this morning the police parking cones were all out in force. The Gunners are playing Real Mallorca at Highbury tonight. "I know they are coming here very focused on getting a big result,and that means only a draw." Too right, Lauren. Mash 'em. Oh, and if you fancy popping in for tea afterwards the b/f is out all evening :-)
For the uninitiated: Arsenal Football Club = Arsenal FC = The Gunners = The Arse. Yes, I know our goalkeeper is called David Seaman. Yes, I know that means you can go and watch Seaman play up the Arse. But would you want to?
The Raining Champignons...
We didn't win at last night's Retro Bar Pop Quiz but we did pretty well. 19½ out of a possible 21.
And what a fun quiz it was. Easy too. Wendy devised it which is always a good sign. Wendy’s quizzes seem to hit the right balance of old vs. new, obvious vs. geeky that some of the guest compilers sometimes miss.
The first round was three current releases. Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes. Can you name their current hits? We got one word wrong with the MJ hit so losing ½ point :-(
Next we heard three pieces of music from three horror films. Easily spotted were the themes or music from Psycho, Halloween and The Hunger.
Then there was a round called ‘And the Girl’. We had to name the female members of the bands. The songs played were ‘Band on the Run’, ‘Psycho Killer’ and some song by Pulp (that escapes me). Can you name the three women?
The ‘What Happen Next?’ round was the wonderful warbling of Pauline Black singing The Selector’s ‘On My Radio’. We needed the last twelve words of the chorus. Easy really - can you guess?
The next round was three new releases with songs called ‘Fat Lip’, ‘Rock The House’ and ‘In The End’. Can you name the three bands that have these singles out at the moment?
The 80s round consisted of three tracks and we had to guess the artist and the album they came from. We heard ‘Gloomy Sunday’ by The Associates, ‘Cake And Eat It’ by Dead Or Alive and ‘4 Ever 2 Gether’ by ABC. Can you name the three albums they come from?
The ‘Spot The Connection’ round was a little tough. We didn’t get it anyway. The four tracks were:-
‘New York, New York’ – Frank Sinatra
‘A Love Supreme’ – Robbie Williams
‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ – Nancy Sinatra
‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ – Nicole Kidman
Can you see the connection? I’ll give you a clue. It’s a song title.
The final round was the ‘Grease’ round. The questions were:-
Who sang the title track?
How many weeks was ‘Summer Nights’ number one in the UK?
Who sang ‘Beauty School Dropout’?
What year was the film released? (for a bonus point)
The winners got every question right – twenty-one out of twenty-one. Unfortunately (for them) they one the booby prize of the Britney Spears single. Ha!
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
You're fooling no one...
All a big prank, of course. But funny all the same. http://thegrapevine.blogspot.com/.
The mock fight back is fairly lame though at http://whoisgrapevine.blogspot.com
Have a pop yourself. Just go to blogger.com and sign in as:
"Quick, Brother, or we'll be late for Mass."
"Oh no we won't."
This town, is coming like a ghost town...
I love the London Underground. OK, it's a bit of a nightmare during the rush hours, it's not the cleanest metro in the world and the Northern Line justly deserves its name as the Misery Line. But otherwise it is fast, convenient and cheap. It is the life blood of London as can be amply demonstrated during tube strikes when lots of people just stay at home. More often than not it gets me from home to work and back again faster than any other method I've tried. It gets me to and from The Vauxhall Tavern on a Sunday. It gets me home from Bar Code or the Retro Bar without fuss. (OK, I *do* get taxis but usually only when I'm drunk!)
When I first started taking the tube on a regular basis some years ago I started to notice the irregular spacing between stations. In particular between Caledonian Road and Kings Cross and between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly Line. The reason for this is because between these stations are 'ghost' stations. Disused stops that have long had their entrances and exits boarded up. No longer needed, their platforms lie idle. If you look closely you can see these bricked up stations flashing past. Examples are British Museum, City Road, South Kentish Town, York Road, Marlborough Road and King William Street.
It seems a little sad to me that these stations can't be reopened. One of the official reasons for their original closure was that as tube trains were getting longer so the stations needed to be further apart.
Some stations are still very close to each other though. If you stand at the end of the platform at Covent Garden you can actually see the lights of Leicester Square down the track.
The Tube: what do you think? Love it or loathe it?
We watched the fifth Star Trek:Enterprise episode last night called 'The Unexpected'. It was really very good. A bit funny, a bit sexy, and not too off-hand. I'm really begining to warm to the show now. Especially Trip, the chief engineer. Did he need to strip down to his blue underwear? I think so.
Start your Christmas shopping early...
And get something for the man in your life. For those nights and days, when you want to be and feel a little special, naughty, and very sexy, these are for you. All the colours, all the sizes.
Monday, October 22, 2001
Jonathan helps out in class...
Andrew is 'our' nephew - really he's Mark's but I've sorted of adopted him too. He has just finished training to be a teacher and has now started a new job teaching year 4 in a South London primary school. I have my IM running at work all day. Even so, I was a little surprised (pleasantly) when this popped up on my screen last week.
Andrew says: hi
Jonathan says: Oh, Hi
Andrew says: sorry i have got my class in here looking at the projector and me typing so dont be rude
Jonathan says: That's OK
Andrew says: say hi to 4a!
Jonathan says: Three nuns go into a pub... :)
Jonathan says: Hi 4a!
Andrew says: they say hi back
Jonathan says: What's the weather like?
Andrew says: nice and sunny
Jonathan says: Glad to hear it
Jonathan says: What do you call a man with a spade on his head?
Andrew says: we dont know
Jonathan says: Doug
Andrew says: lol x 28
Jonathan says: What do you call a man with two glass doors on his head?
Jonathan says: Paddy O'Doors
Andrew says: much laughter again
Jonathan says: What do you call a woman with two pints of ale and an earthen ware jug on her head?
Jonathan says: Beer-tricks Potter
Andrew says: what do you call a fish with no eye (from sverrir)
Jonathan says: Don't know
Andrew says: dont be rude
Andrew says: fsh
Jonathan says: HA HA HA!!!!
Andrew says: sorry we must get back to our lesson
Jonathan says: What do you call a man with a saucepan on his head?
Jonathan says: Stu
Jonathan says: OK, back to work everyone!!!!
Jonathan says: BYE!!!!!
Andrew says: if we are good we will be back in a bout 30 minutes after our it lesson
Andrew says: bye x 28
Jonathan says: Bye, class.
A little bit later they came back for more. Bless.
Andrew says: hello they wanted to say another hi to you
Andrew says: don't know why
Jonathan says: Hi
Andrew says: they want to tell jokes
Andrew says: hang on
Andrew says: why did the boy throw a honey sandwich out of the window
Andrew says: ?
Jonathan says: I don't know?
Andrew says: because he wanted to catch a bee!
Jonathan says: HA HA HA!
Andrew says: (i don't get it either)
Jonathan says: Quite weird!
Andrew says: daisy: why did the golfer wear two pairs of trousers
Jonathan says: Don't know?
Andrew says: daisy: just in case he got a hole in one
Jonathan says: Hee, hee.
Andrew says: chelsey: how do you pikachu (pokemon) on a bus
Andrew says: ?
Jonathan says: Give up
Andrew says: poke him on
Jonathan says: Ho Ho Ho!
Andrew says: already gave that one away my fault. One last one I promise
Andrew says: george: knock knock
Jonathan says: Who's there?
Andrew says: boo
Jonathan says: boo who?
Andrew says: don't cry it's only a joke
Jonathan says: Ha Ha Ha
Andrew says: we are off now byyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Jonathan says: Bye gang!
Wow! Where else could a forty year old man have a conversation with a group of 28 kids over the internet and it all be quite so innocent? (Note to self: have better jokes to hand at work)
Sunday, October 21, 2001
Wow! I'm posting this from my phone using wapblogger. Blogging on the move. Cool!
Saturday, October 20, 2001
Have I got news for you...
... returned to our screens last night. Funny, funny show. For the uninitiated it's a topical news quiz featuring the Master of Ceremonies Angus Deayton, prince of the put-down Ian Hislop and joker of the pack Paul Merton, plus two other guests. Last night these were Michael Crick (Jeffery Archer's biographer) and Rich Hall (the comedian).
During the show the subject came up of the 'entertainment' given to the British troops in Oman last week - consisting of Geri Halliwell, Steps and Bobby Davro (the rather crap 'comedian'). “Bobby Davro was entertaining the troops”, said purple-suited host Angus Deayton. “If that doesn’t put them in the mood for killing people, I don’t know what will.”
And the best line of the night.
Paul Merton: "And how did Geri Halliwell entertain the troops exactly? Alphabetically?"
So many men, so little time...
Last night was fun. We went to the Ram Bar for a Sports And Shorts friendly. When I say 'we', what started out as "I'm going to the Ram Bar tonight' turned into 'the world and his wife are going to the Ram Bar tonight'. We almost had to hire a bus. When we got there the place was packed already. Cute boys in football and rugby tops. Hmmm. It was nice to see Mark, Drew, Christopher, Colin, Martin, Ross, Stephen, Neil, Mark, Kevin and to meet Des, Simon, Richard, David, Peter, Ashley and especially Duncan (ginger). [God! This is beginning to sound like one of Uncle Hedgehog's people lists!] I would have had more time to socialise but I started playing pool and by some fluke couldn't seem to put a ball wrong. Nine straight games without losing, I retired undefeated. We moved en masse to the Artful Dodger at midnight to continue with some more jolly japez and wizard weez. In bed by 4am. Smiling broadly.
Friday, October 19, 2001
Shameless not senseless...
I'm due to take part in a TV show next week - being filmed in my footie kit and being interviewed about sex. But now I'm not so sure. Even if the show did win an award this year. What does the panel think?
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Star Trek: Enterprise...
I watched a couple of the new Star Trek:Enterprise episodes, 'Strange New World' and 'Fight Or Flight' last night. I'm going to watch the first two episodes 'Broken Bow Part I & II' tonight.
Just a few comments.
? Generally plots are OK, but scripts are terrible.
? What's this with a depressed argon-loving slug that's off it's food. And they leave it on just any old planet. Hello? Prime Directive?
? That stupid translator women picks up a gun and says, "What's this?". Hello? Didn't you get any training?
? Jokes like, "You've been watching too much Sci-Fi" aren't funny when you're watching crap Sci-Fi.
? Hello? Just how many people are there that ship? Six?
? Is the captain going to keep wanting to just rush down to the planet/on to the alien ship/do stupid things all the time? It's going to get a bit boring.
? Why is the first 20 minutes always so crap (no, not 'ironic' or 'funny' just crap), the next 20 minutes only slightly better and last 20 minutes always action.
? Are they in a rut already?
? Why do they have table-clothes at dinner? Is this The Waltons?
? It's Dark Star but without the humour.
? It's Alien without the Alien.
? It's X-Files (autopies, smoke, torches et al) without the 'X' and without the 'Files'.
? Where's all the money gone - it sure ain't up there on the screen.
? Have they killed the franchise? I bloody hope not.
Dead, compressed and cool...
Since the demise of Napster, I download files from Morpheus these days. I've found Morpheus to be both fast and reliable for music and video. You can even close your PC down in the middle of a download and when you restart it will continue with the download. If a source goes off line it will try and find it from a different location and pick up from where it left off. An excellent system that has allowed me to watch Star Trek: Enterprise way before it gets shown on Sky One.
This also brings me to a little chat about MPEG - the Moving Picture Engineering Group - lossy compression standard. MPEG-1 was pretty lousy. OK for VideoCD format (about VHS quality) but not much else. It was designed to compress video streams at constant fixed rate so fast moving images would blur. When MPEG-2 was launched it was much better. It's the compression used for DVDs with adaptive rate compression i.e. in fast moving scenes not much compression occurs to ensure a crisper image. In scenes where less happend visually the file gets compressed a lot more. The overall files are much smaller and or better quality. MPEG-3 (aka MP3) as many people know, has been chiefly used in the audio field. The video aspects have rarely been exploited. The newest compression algorhythm is MPEG-4 which was originally designed for video use on low bandwidth devices such as mobiles and PDAs. However when used at higher bandwidths such as on a PC or a Mac the results are even better. You can watch an MPEG-4 video clip at full screen and it is an outstandingly clear and crisp image with no blur whatsoever. The files are small and easy to copy.
The Star Trek:Enterprise clips we downloaded yesterday where of this high quality. I simply burnt them onto a CD and we watched them on our DVD player. Outstanding sound and image quality. Cool.
Shame the same couldn't be said of the shows themselves. More on that later.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...
PRESS RELEASE: Coming to the London stage. Previews from 19 March 2002 - London Palladium - £10.00-40.00 The world’s most famous car will soon be flying into London’s most famous theatre! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is based on the enthralling children’s movie musical about a magical car that sails over the seas and flies through the skies. But the adventures really start when Chitty’s eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts and his family are flown to far-off Vulgaria – a cruel land where children are not allowed and where they are at the mercy of the evil Child Catcher!
I have to go and see this next year. I just loved the film. I first went to go and see it when I was 7 years old for my birthday treat. We were allowed to go to the cinema once a year - the birthday boy or girl always got to choose. It was the best birthday a boy ever had. I loved everything about it. Even Dick Van Dyke. And I used to imagine Truly Scrumptious was my mother. And I knew Baroness Bomburst was a sexpot. And I wanted to be an inventor when I grew up. And the Child Catcher gave me nightmares. And I wanted a toot sweet. And a flying car. And, and, and...
Remember those songs? 'You Two', 'Toot Sweets', 'Hushabye Mountain', 'Me Ol' Bamboo', 'Truly Scrumptious', 'Posh!', 'The Roses Of Success', 'Chu-Chi Face', 'Doll On a Music Box/Truly Scrumptious', and of course the title track, 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' which got nominated for an Oscar. What a classy 'family' film and a rip roaring set of songs. It should be a blast on the stage.
Little known facts about the film - it was written by Roald Dahl, both Benny Hill & Barbara Windsor were in it and Phil Collins was too but was left on the cutting room floor. Ha! Best place for him.
Any one else out there remember seeing the film as a child?
Wednesday, October 17, 2001
There are no cute politicians, discuss....
Oi! Amercia! This is a joke, right! You don't really think Tony Blair is cute, do you? When he gets called 'presidential' here it's as an insult. Thanks to Michael for the link.
Having said that a friend of Mark's fancies Gordon Brown. Yikes!
Microsoft uses Madonna's "Ray Of Light" to promote Windows XP. The advert implies that if you buy Windows XP you will be able to fly. Hmmm. Nice song though.
Coming this autumn will be Madge's new CD called "GHV2" (i.e. Greatest Hits Volume Two). Bit of a disappointment as there will be no new tracks. The 15-track album spans Madonna's career since 1991. Interestingly, several big hits have been excluded from "GHV2," including "This Used to Be My Playground"; "I'll Remember"; "You'll See"; and "Rain". The set serves as a companion to the 1990 release "The Immaculate Collection".
Here is the tracklist for "GHV2":
"Deeper and Deeper"
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
"The Power of Goodbye"
"Take a Bow"
"Ray of Light"
"Don't Tell Me"
"What It Feels Like for a Girl"
"Drowned World" / "Substitute for Love"
Madonna's next project will be a starring role in a film directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie. Filming for "Swept Away," a remake of a 1975 Italian love story, is currently underway in Malta. Let's hope it's no "Shanghai Surprise".
Hurray for us...
Darren, David, Ian and I came first in the Retro Bar Pop Quiz last night! And we won the prize I hoped we'd win! And my generous team mates said I could have it! Thanks guys!
Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Psst! Can you keep a secret…?
MI6 are recruiting. Send a SAE to PO Box 1300, London SE1 1BD. Mum's the word.
Gary Lineker's crotch...
I went hotfoot from work to BBC Television Centre in White City last night to see this Friday's sports quiz 'They Think It's All Over' being recorded. My friend Ben was on the panel along with regulars David Gower, Jonathan Ross, Rory McGrath and the gorgeous Gary Lineker. Nick Hancock was in the driving seat and the other guest was Paula Radcliffe - the runner whose husband had a go at her when she went too late in a race in World Championships earlier in the year.
The sports quiz itself had little to do with sport - or a quiz. It was two hours of foulmouthed tirades and the swapping of crude and childish insults. Great fun!
Afterwards I got chatting to Rory McGrath in the Green Room (the way you do). I asked him if he remembered me from being on 'Right To Reply’, which he used to present, many years ago. He did. I had been on complaining about ITV Sports' coverage of the Michael Watson boxing match where he was almost fatally knocked unconscious. Grege Dyke was my sparing partner. Rory told me something I wish I had known then. Dyke, the then head of ITV Sport and now in charge of the BBC, omitted to mention certain details that implicated them in the lack of help given to Michael Watson after he collapsed. If I had known that then I would have given Dyke the roasting he so richly deserved.
The Green Room was really packed; you had to push your way through the crowd to get to the bar or even find a place to stand. At one point Gary Lineker pushed past me holding some drinks above his head. As he did so he accidentally brushing his groin against my arse as he passed. I felt a surge of electricity through my whole body. And went very weak at the knees. It was the high point of a fantastic evening.
Another Weak Ending...
‘Bob And Rose’ was a real let down last night – after weeks of being the best thing on TV the writing was mediocre and the plot poor. And don't start me on that final 'everything in the world is lovely' scene. Russell T Davies has done this to us before though. ‘Queer As Folk’ had a crap ending too. Why is it that TV drama characters often have to go against type to achieve a success and satisfactory dénouement? What wrong with a good old fashioned verbal bloodbath?
Monday, October 15, 2001
...to all who all contributed to what was for me a fabulous weekend.
Friday: Met up with Colin and Martin in the Eddie for a few swift pints before going on to The Artful Dodger for pool and 'more'. Steamed home at 2-30am.
Saturday: Marky and I went to lunch in New Cross Gate to see Tim and Claudia and their new bundle oj joy, Kye. In the evening we went to Nikki's for dinner with Colin, Peter then on to the Two Bridges Dining Club to celebrate Ross's birthday. Despite the price of the drinks we got plastered. Finally came rolling home at 3am.
Sunday: Down to the Vauxhall to meet up with Drew, Ian, David and Marcus and then on to Duke's to play pool. On the way home I bumped into Francesco who invited my back to his for a smoke and a sniff. Floated home at 2am.
What with all this steaming, rolling and floating I think my liver needs a holiday. Anyone else have a weekend of excess?
Sunday, October 14, 2001
He said yes! He said yes!...
After reading about the London Partnerships Register back in June I asked Mark to 'marry' me. He said yes. Yippee! So on Saturday 3rd November Mark and I are registering our relationship with the LPR and having Not-A-Wedding to celebrate.
The scheme is run by the Greater London Authority as a way of recognising the partnership status of couples, both same-sex and heterosexual. It is a step towards avoiding the problems arising over housing, taxation, inheritance rights and family law. Although registration will not automatically confer legal status as marriage does, it may be used as additional evidence in any dispute or civil action that might arise. Couples will receive a certificate confirming that their relationship has been registered in the London Partnerships Register. It is only a first step. But a step in the right direction nonetheless.
The only problem now will be which of us will have the cheek to wear white and where are we going to have our Stag Night(s)?
Saturday, October 13, 2001
Do ya think I'm sexy...?
Scally - you're not going all weird on us, are you?
Rule #1 : We are alowed to think our friends sexy
Rule #2 : We're not supposed to let them know about it
Have I taught you nothing?
Friday, October 12, 2001
A TV production company, Ricochet Films, who are making a film for Channel Four about sportswear and trainers fetishs have asked me if I would like to be filmed getting ready for Sports And Shorts i.e. climbing into my football kit and to have a chat about my love of sports kit. As I mentioned before their filming has been brought forward from the December event to the October one in just two weeks time.
Thanks for chatting on the phone today and sending your article-very sexy stuff!
As you sounded so effevescent I was wondering if we could make your kit interest into more of a larger item by maybe interviewing you at home, getting ready and going to the Sports and shorts. It would be great if your boyfriend would join you getting ready (would he usually?) and if you can let me know if he wants to be interiewed that would be great. If you would also talk about the sexual side of your fetish as well as your football interests maybe tell us about your experience (the naked truth) we can make u into a football fetish star! It would be great if I could meet up with you and talk about this further.
I look forward to your response
My first reaction was YES! YES! YES! because I'm basically an exhibitionist at heart. Marky's first reaction was NO! NO! NO! as he is basically a shy, retiring kind of a guy and he doesn't want to be involved in something that might get used, abused and misrepresented on some sorrid TV show. Being sensible I completely understand where he's coming from and so we will probably have to decline their offer of both being filmed together at home. An exhibitionist I may be, but I wouldn't do anything to upset Marky or involve him in anything that might do so.
This may mean they don't want to use me as they can't film me at home - which I would quite understand. However if they do still want me I'll have to get changed somewhere else. In a cab? On the tube? In the street? Shy? Me? :)
UPDATE: The film company just e-mailed me - Is there a friend of yours who also has a kit fetish who would be willing to let us film you talking and getting changed? If anyone wants to be in the film let me know!
Thursday, October 11, 2001
Can you tell I've had a tough day..?
Advice to all company employees on the proper use of Jonathan's time. As your System Administrator I am at your service. Just call Jonathan on ext 8817 or on his mobile - day or night.
• Never write down any error messages. Just click "Ok" or restart your computer. Jonathan likes to guess what the error message was.
• When talking about your computer, use terms like "Thingy" and "Big Connector."
• If you get an EXE file in an email attachment, open it immediately. Jonathan likes to make sure the anti-virus software is working properly from time to time.
• When sending someone your document via email, always assume that they have all the same software installed that you do.
• When Jonathan says he coming right over, log out and go for coffee. It's no problem for him to remember your password.
• When you call Jonathan to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and Popsicle sticks. Jonathan doesn't have a life, and he finds it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.
• When Jonathan sends you an email marked as "Highly Important" or "Action Required", delete it at once. He's probably just testing some new Email software feature, anyhow.
• When Jonathan is eating lunch at his desk or in the kitchen, walk right in and spill your guts and expect him to respond immediately. Jonathan exists only to serve and is always ready to think about fixing computers.
• When Jonathan is at the water cooler or outside taking a breath of fresh air, find him and ask him a computer question. The only reason he takes breaks at all is to ferret out all those employees who don't have email or a telephone line.
• Send urgent email ALL IN UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.
• When the photocopier doesn't work, call Jonathan. There's electronics in it, right?
• When you're getting a NO DIAL TONE message at your home computer, call Jonathan. He can even fix telephone problems from remote locations too.
• When something is wrong with your home PC, dump it on Jonathan's chair with no name, no phone number, and no description of the problem. He just loves a good mystery.
• When you have Jonathan on the phone walking you through changing a setting; read the newspaper. Jonathan doesn't actually mean for you to DO anything; he just loves to hear himself talk.
• When the company offers training on an upcoming Windows or Office upgrade; don't bother to sign up. Jonathan will be there to hold your hand after it is done.
• When the printer won't print, resend the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently just disappear into the cosmos for no reason.
• When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to all the printers in the office. One of them is bound to work.
• Don't use online help. Online help is for wimps. Right?
• If you're taking night classes in computer science, feel free to demonstrate your fledgling expertise by updating the network drivers for you and all your co-workers. Jonathan will be grateful for the overtime when he has to stay until 2:30am fixing all of them.
• When Jonathan's fixing your computer at a quarter past one, eat your Whopper with cheese in his face. He functions better when he's slightly dizzy from hunger.
• Don't ever thank Jonathan. He loves fixing everything AND getting paid for it!
• When Jonathan asks you whether you've installed any new software on your computer, lie. It's nobody's business what you've got on your computer.
• If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your dog, lift the computer and stuff the cable under it. Those skinny mouse cables were designed to have 55 lbs. of computer monitor crushing on them.
• If the space bar on your keyboard doesn't work, blame Jonathan for not upgrading it sooner. Hell, it's not your fault that there's a half a pound of pizza crust crumbs, nail clippings, and big sticky drops of god knows what under the keys.
• When you get the message saying "Are you sure?", click on that "Yes" button as fast as you can. Hell, if you weren't sure, you wouldn't be doing it, would you?
• Feel perfectly free to say things like "I don't know nothing about that computer crap." It never bothers Jonathan to hear his area of professional expertise referred to as crap.
• When you need to add paper to the printer, call Jonathan. Changing the paper is an extremely difficult task, and both Hewlett Packard and Lexmark recommend that it be performed only by certified network administrators with lots of time on their hands.
• When you receive a 130-megabyte movie file, send it to everyone as a high-priority mail attachment. Jonathan's provided plenty of disk space and processor capacity on the new mail server just for those important kinds of things.
• Don't even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks. God forbid somebody else should sneak a one-page job in between your 427-page Excel spreadsheet.
• When you bump into Jonathan in the supermarket or in the street on a Sunday afternoon, ask him a computer question. He works 24/7, even while at Sainsbury's buying toilet paper and cat food.
• If your son is a student in computer science, have him come in on the weekends and do his projects on your office computer. Jonathan will be there for you when your son's illegal copy of Visual Basic 6.0 makes the Access database keel over and die.
• When you bring Jonathan your own "no-name" brand home PC to repair for free at the office, tell him how urgently he needs to fix it so you can get back to playing on the Half-Life. He'll get right on it right away because he has so much free time at the office. Everybody knows that all he does is surf the Internet all day anyway.
The (Rumpy Pumpy) Rumpus Room...
The deliciously named Sparky is due on these fair shores in November. He runs a couple of web sites (at least) that you really should check out - namely Ultrasparky and The Rumpus Room. But I happened upon something that worries me today.
I know money may be tight but I didn't realise Sparky was going to finance his trip to the UK running some sleazy porno sites too. Think I'm going mad? The evidence is here. Go to Michael's site at http://www.epenthesis.org/ and click on the link to Rumpus Room link on the left hand side of the page. Heavens, who's Tina?!
I got my spanking new golden copy of Windows XP Professional today. I've thrown the CD into my PC and will let it do it's stuff. If it's anything like the improvement from Beta 2 to Release Candidate 2 I won't be disappointed. I'm in geek heaven. Yippeee! Do you get excited when you get some new software?
Rupert Everett's entrance...
According to a film co-worker, Rupert Everett tells an amusing story about going to the doctor with a nasty rash. He hadn't gone to his usual doctor because he was quite embarrassed about the location. After a couple of complicated and long-winded attempts at explaining, he blurted out that it was around about "his rear entrance."
The elderly and very well-spoken doctor peered over his glasses at him and said "Most males refer to that as a rear exit, Mr. Everett, but I think I know where you mean"
Thanks to Popbitch. Methinks an urban legend but funny all the same.
Wednesday, October 10, 2001
“It wouldn’t be a pop teasers night without a cock up on the decks…”
blogadoon, swishcottage, scally, brainsluice and I all made appearances at last night’s Pop Quiz. Dave wisely joined Mark and his friend Simon to form one team and we other four formed our own. Unfortunately Wendy wasn’t compering so we had both a guest complier and a guest MC.
The first round was name the artist, name the song and get the brackets right. Can you fill in the blanks? The three songs were:-
1. Gary Glitter – I’m The Leader Of The Gang (......)
2. A Flock Of Seagulls – Wishing (……)
3. The Stranglers – (……) Grip (……)
The second round was Kraftwerk singing the same song in three different languages. We got these easily enough: French, German and Japanese.
Then we had the numbers round. Three songs all sung by artists with numbers in their names. We had to add up the three numbers to get a total. What is that total, can you guess? The songs were:-
1. ‘My Own Private Idaho’
2. ‘Wall Street Shuffle’
3. ‘I Love A Man In A Uniform’
The odd one out round was easy enough. Can you spot it?
1. ‘Here Comes The Sun’ – The Beatles
2. ‘It’s Raining Men’ – The Weather Girls
3. ‘It’s Raining Again’ – Supertramp
Next we had three covers questions. Blur doing Rod Stewart’s 'Maggie May', The Smiths doing Twinkle’s ‘Golden Lights’ and The Goodies doing The Troggs’ ‘Wild Thing’ (which for a bonus point you needed to know was actually an original song by The Wild Ones).
The film adaptation round was three 1970s ITV comedy series made into films. They were Man About The House, Rising Damp and On The Buses.
Then we had a progressive rock round where we successfully identified Yes, Jethro Tull and Genesis.
The next round was to spot the correct UK release order of these four T Rex tracks. Can you get it right? We didn’t!
A. Get It On
B. New York City
C. Children Of The Revolution
D. Ride A White Swan
The ‘what happens next’ round was from The Wombles singing ‘Remember You’re A Womble’. What are the seven words that lead up to the chorus? (easy this).
The ‘spot the connection’ round was easy too. Can you guess the connection?
1. ‘Working For The Yankee XXXXXX’ – The Skids
2. The Six Million XXXXXX Man theme
3. ‘Hand Held In Black And White’ – XXXXXX
The final round was to guess what was the A-side of the three 1980s B-sides and guess the year. The B-sides were:-
1. Hard Times – The Human League
2. Faster Than Night – Duran Duran
3. Beat My Guest – Adam And The Ants
Can you guess the A-sides of each of these and the year they were all hits?
We got a respectable sixteen and a half out of twenty-one. There was tie-break as two teams got eighteen and a half though. Luckily the eventual winners chose the 'wrong' envelope so the money rolls over. All £29 of it.
Sports And Shorts Rides Again...
Saturday 27th October at the Stag from 8pm. This time it's personal - and Invitation only. Next Friday 19th October is a Friendly at the Ram Bar, Islington and the December Sports And Shorts (Saturday 15th) is going to be filmed by Channel 4.
I was out with the boys last night (more of that in a bit) and three of those same boys sent me e-mails when they got home later. Some much later than others.
00:09am Mark sent me a link to the next 'invite only' Sports and Shorts. Cheers, Mark.
00:53am Ian sent me a simple message calling me a 'B U G G E R' for pointing out a typo on his site. Ian, it's only because I love you.
01:45am Scally sent me a picture of the gorgeous Bruce in bed (yum). Scally, I'm speechless - and typing with one hand.
Tuesday, October 09, 2001
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!...
Full Advanced Warning Be Hereby Given for Diaries, Secretaries and Booking Personnel.
Come Ye Bloggers, Come Ye Scallywags and Ruffians too, Come One, Come All to Celebrate with Thine own Friends the Second Great Transatlantic Gay(ish)BlogMeet.
Come to Sup a Cup of Mead or Ale at the Fair Bosom of The God Bacchus. Come bid a Fond Welcome to Mister Dan Rhatigan of The American City of New York to these Fair Shores. If thee not be Gay in Life then be at least Gay of Heart and Mind instead but Come and Rejoice with Us too For we Welcome All. We do Not Byte.
Best Known for his Fantastical Locations on The Modern Internet http://www.Ultrasparky.org and http://www.Rumpus.org, Mister Rhatigan is with us in Fair London for but a Short Time. Sandwiching his stay in our Great Capital with His journeying to the Freezing Wastes of the Shire of Lancaster.
Time and Date:
From 7:30pm onwards
Saturday 24th November 2001 (Yes, by my breeches, a Saturday!)
Upstairs @ The Retro Bar (the tunes be goodsome to the Ears)
2 George Court (just off the Strand)
Ladies: Informal (but Not So Provoking as to Distract the Horses)
Gentlemen: Informal (Rogues and Vagabonds Welcome too)
Carriages at 11 sharp
Questions, quizings and qualifications to Mister Jonathan Green located oft Times at http://www.overyourhead.co.uk
Bearly one hour after the second plane hit the WTC Jo Moore, an adviser to Transport Secretary Stephen Byers, e-mailed colleagues saying that 11 September was "a very good day to get out anything we want to bury" according to the BBC. You stupid cow. Stupid to do it and stupid to get caught doing it.
Three things you really need to know about London...
I'm exactly half way through reading 'London: The Biography' by Peter Ackroyd and it is a truly wonderful book. I was given it by Ian/Nikki/Colin as a birthday present and I have to say thank you very much to all three of you. It is a well written, fascinating, illuminating and compelling read. It is easy to dip into yet hard to put down. Crammed full of amazing facts about London, it's history and it's modus operandi. By way of a taster I shall reproduce three of the items that caught my imagination and that I think you really need to know.
1. The main meal of the day in London has moved forward by ten hours in the last five centuries. In the late fifteenth century many Londoners dined at ten o'clock in the morning. By the sixteenth century some delayed by an hour or so to eat at, or just after, eleven o'clock - but never later than noon. Ackroyd continues, "In the seventeenth century, the hours of twelve and one became common. But then in the early decades of the eighteenth century there was a rapid acceleration in meal time. By 1740 two o'clock was the appropriate hour, and by 1770 three was considered the vital moment. In the last decades of the eighteenth century, and the first of the nineteenth, the dinner hour slid to five or six. By 1850 dinner at eight or even nine o'clock was considered appropriate at 'aristocratic' tables."
2. The Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed five sixths of the entire city of London. And what was the official death toll after such devastation?... Just six people! Apparently everybody ran away as soon as they smelled the smoke and no one stopped to fight the fire.
3. In 1339 where were many disorderly houses in London harbouring both prostitutes and sodomites. In fact there are many records of sodomite houses at that time. As Ackroyd puts it, So there was in medieval London a thriving homosexual community, which aligned itself with the brothels and the bawds. It would be tempting to describe it as an underworld except that it was well known and ubiquitous.
So to conclude: Londoners have been gay for hundreds of years, are now very late eaters and would rather run than fight a fire. Dinner party conversation topics maybe? :-)
Monday, October 08, 2001
According to the BBC the Finnish people think the @ symbol looks like a sleeping cat. Bless.
Saturday, October 06, 2001
Ab Fab (the 6th week review)...
Last night's episode was called Menopause. It was a poor end to a poor season. The plot was all over the place. Patsy has osteoperosis - Eddie's business is being taken over - Mother is going walkabout.
The only good line was, "A gynaocogolist - a man who can look at you in the vagina but never in the eye".
I've been to see Laurie Anderson many, many times. And everytime I've seen her she has performed her current work, her latest project only. Her fans know her and love her for this as she is an artist. And as an artist she doesn't simply reproduce her art from the past to sell her new work. A painter wouldn't repaint one of their old pictures for a new exhibition. A sculpter wouldn't knock out an earlier statue to get the punters in for a new exhibit. Laurie is an artist and I respect here for that.
When Paul and I took our seats in our box last night - within spitting distance of Ian in his box - we joked about how funny it was that the audience for largely gay. Not your typical gay crowd of course - pseudo types. And how funny it would if she played 'Let X=X' or 'Oh, Superman!'. We laughed - it would never happen.
Laurie was superb. And you've guessed it I'm sure, her second song was... 'Let X=X'. We squealed with delight. She further delighted us further with 'Sweaters', 'Walking And Falling' and a bunch of my other favourites from 'Big Science', 'United States I-IV' and every album since. Mixing the old with the new 'Life On A Wire' tracks was fantastic and refreshing for her shows. I had tears in my eyes when she performed 'Oh, Superman'. There was a chilling resonance to the lyrics like 'Here come the planes/They're Amercian planes/Made in Amercia/Smoking/And Non-smoking'.
So has she sold out? You know what, I don't care too much. I just loved what she did and now respect her for that alone. Maybe we can expect a Greatest Hits CD and remix album too! :)
Friday, October 05, 2001
Barmey people who are married to other barmey people...
Tonight Ian, Paul and I are going to see Laurie Anderson at the Royal Festival Hall perform from her latest ouevre 'Life On A String'. I've banged on about my love for all things Laurie before so I won't again. But suffice to say I'm a fully paid up member of The Other Fanderson (no, not that one).
I was talking to Mark a while back and I happened to mention that Laurie Anderson's husband was Lou Reed. His flabber had never been so gasted. He loves Lou Reed and hates Laurie Anderson so he just couldn't believe it. Nevertheless it is true.
A couple of weeks ago Kit told me that Toyah Wilcox is married to Robert Fripp. It was my turn to have a gaster all but flabbered. I hate born-again Toyah Wilcox and I love Robert Fripp so I just couldn't believe it. Nevertheless it is true.
Do any of you know of any other famous barmey couplings that I should know about?
...but I just couldn't resist posting this after seeing this. We've all got them, love. Yours are especially cute though ;-)
The family tree comes tumbling down...
Fights, tears, regret, laughter, spitting and suicide. What high-class, well written drama Eastenders has been over this last week. Consistent and well developed metaphors of closed and closing doors shutting out the unthinkable and bearly heard whispered conversations shrouding the unsayable. When Kat first spilled the beans in February this year I almost had kittens. On Monday Zoe found out that her sister is really her mother. On Tuesday she found out her uncle is really her father. And last night was the best episode I have ever seen. If you've missed it so far - on Sunday afternoon when the EastEnders omnibus it shown pull the phone of the hook and watch it, watch it, watch it.
There's nowt as queer as folk...
As with many people who blog I find that some people who come to my site have done so from very strange search engine queries. In the last day for instance I've had some odd ones indeed. Other than the ubiquitous Q33NY I've had opps i farted agin and sexy naked boyes. Thinking about it though maybe that second one was perhaps a reference to something the minkered one and I were discussing yesterday (?)
Talking of searches and hits, David on the phone last night claimed he doesn't want the five hundred or so hits that he's currently getting from people searching for Q33NY and coming across his site by accident. Immediately afterwards I had to telephone Ian who was standing right beside David at the time to make sure I had heard him right :-)
Thursday, October 04, 2001
The Birthday Club...
The rather likable (or should that be lickable) Dave remarks that there are quite a few birthday's around this time of year and that this weekend his falls exactly nine months after his father's. Funnily enough so does mine. So is anyone else a member of the birthday club - their date being exactly nine months after their father's (or mother's)?
Those little fuckers...
Scally and Bruce were mugged last night. Believe me, my thoughts are with you guys.
About five years ago the same thing happened to me just yards from my front door. I was in shock for days afterwards. I couldn't walk down my own street without feeling paralysed with fear. It was that attack that prompted us to move to 'a nicer part of town'. But of course there are no 'nice parts of town'. You could get mugged anywhere. In a crowded street even. People just stop and watch and don't do a thing. They're scared of getting hurt. And who can blame them? But it makes you feel very much alone. Vunerable to any little fucker that wants to have a go. And to make matters worse the clean up rate for crime in London is a meer 25%.
Even after all these years I still look behind me when I walk down dark streets.
Hands across the world...
I just had a really nice chat with Uncle Hedgehog Down Under. He seems to good spirits but in need of work. So if anyone knows of any jobs going down Bondi beach way let him know. Does Beach Bum count as a job, Dave? :-)
He must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel...
I got this missive last week.
I very much enjoyed your site. My name is Adam Reed. I am involved in a research project of the department of sociology at the University of Surrey. We are concerned to explore the links between uses of new media technologies and senses of place and community in London. As part of that work, I have become interested in blogging or personal publishing as a form of creative engagement. I hope to speak to as many bloggers or personal publishers as possible [I have so far interviewed Meg of notsosoft, Tom of Plasticbag, David of Swishcottage, Luke of Luklog, Vaughan of Whereveryouare, Marcia of Dutchbint, Dave of Brainsluice, Matt of Interconnected, Fraser of Blogjam]. I was wondering whether you might be willing to meet up in order to discuss your site and blogging more generally?
If you have further queries I am very happy to answer them; or alternatively you could visit our site at the Sociology department page [www.soc.surrey.ac.uk], click on 'Research groups', then on 'INCITE', then on 'Urban Mobilities'.
I hope to hear back from you.
Dr Adam Reed,
Department of Sociology,
University of Surrey,
And I am meeting him tonight for a chin wag. I guess I'd better get my thoughts in order. Cue my rant about why I think blogging is just vanity publishing dressed as self expression :-)
Wednesday, October 03, 2001
Hard to resist...
I've tried to say nothing all day about this but I just gotta let it out. Last night's Pop Quiz was great fun. But what made it especially groovy was the appearance of one of Scally's chums called Bruce. Scally, how come you have such a seemingly endless supply of gorgeous friends? It's a Muppet. It's Madness. It's Muppet Madness.
BT Openworld offers free DSL installation for existing punters. I have DSL at home (512kb) and at work (2Mb). When it works it rocks. OK when it fails it's worse than crap. But the biggest turn off is the installation fee. So if BT have really waived that then why not sign up. Just under £40pcm rental is only the same as half a pint of beer a day. Peanuts. Always on and ten times faster than a crappy modem. You know you want to.
Some people love it, some say it keeps you healthy but I tend to agree with my Dad who used to say, "there's no such thing as a little garlic."
Live By, Die By...
Both Ian and David indicate their utter distain for bad spelling and how incorrectly written words make them doubt the very content that they are reading. A highly commendable stance, guys but Heavens! They must doubt everything I write with my propensity for typos.
As they are both dear friends of mine, I would certainly in no way encourage any less than charitable readers to even entertain the thought of casting a spellchecker over their blogs. As the Tory's discovered with their 'no sleaze' policy it is all too easy to shoot oneself in the foot.
BTW Ian, next time we're out discussing your name-and-shame tactics we must pop into "Canden's Jazz Café" (sic) :-)
Tuesday, October 02, 2001
Lick the back and push hard...
Royal Mail has used several 'innovative' printing methods for a set of stamps issued today to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Institute and the first Nobel Prizes.
The methods to be used are:
- A scratch-and-smell panel with a eucalyptus scent on a 40p stamp honouring prizes in medicine and physiology.
- A hologram on the 65p stamp honouring prizes in physics.
- Microprinting of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Addressing of Cats on the 45p stamp honouring literature.
- Thermochromic ink on the second-class non-denominated stamp for chemistry.
- Engraving, or intaglio, on the first-class stamp honouring economics. NB:This is not innovative. Intaglio was used for the Penny Black in 1840.
- Embossing on the European-rate stamp for the Nobel Peace prize. NB:Again not innovative. This technique was first used for British stamps in 1847.
When I got into work today I had a new shiny disk of Windows XP Release Candidate 2 waiting for me (I would have had it some time earlier but MS TechNet ceased my TechNet Plus sub for some reason best known to themselves). Having now seemlessly upped my Whistler Beta 2 to Windows XP Professional RC2 I see many improvements. They've fixed a bunch of stuff that really needed fixing and as a whole I'd say it's more or less ready to ship. I can see why it went Gold soon after this build was released. For me the single most important thing that got broke in Beta 2 and which has now been fixed in RC2 is the cookies. They now work. About bloody time. So now I can now Blog, order from Sainsbury's and download cracks from Astalavista again without moving a buttock. Life is sweet.
Och ay the no, no, no, no, no...
Scotland has barred us. We are no longer welcome. Banned, snubbed and ejected. Why? Well, it was meant to be a quiet weekend away to celebrate Iain's 40th in a lovely 8 bedroomed c18th house near Stirling. Instead it turned into an orgy of debauched excess. All sixteen of us were up for a good time and that was exactly what we had. We had a fantastic time (thanks Iain), but boy, do Iain's friends know how to party?! The wine flowed, the food was unending and the games were fast and furious through the night. There was even drama aplenty too. Needless to say the volume was set to, how can I put this, rather loud.
Oh yes, and the reason why we are no longer welcome back? Just a little matter of setting off a series of explosions at 1 o'clock on Sunday morning that was heard a little over 5 miles away. Opps! Sorry Scotland.
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