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

Crawling through technology, life and love

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Pool Paradise - GC on Wii

Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry

All 24 25 Tintin books

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Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Minipops Quiz

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Marc Almond
Top 40 Singles
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Some blogs I enjoy:
troubled diva

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


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Thursday, July 31, 2008
Bisch Basch Bosch...
Ooh hello. Amaury Bischoff has joined Arsenal.

Robot Air Hockey...
What next? Why, a robot playing air hockey, of course.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
iPhone 3G...

My iPhone 3G turned up today so I'm playing with it at the moment. It's a bit bigger than I thought it'd be but a nice size all the same.

Update: I'm getting used to it now. Activesync working OK to got work email, calendar and contacts. Home email syncing too. Web browsing is fairly easy. YouTube is Okish. Maddeningly there's no copy/paste function though. Battery life (as with all mobile devices) is not ideal either. But it looks cool and the software is pretty easy to use. Being a techie I'd like to be able to tweak more but no doubt I'll find those 'hidden' settings soon enough.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Electric Picnic Line-up...

Monday, July 28, 2008
Party, Party...
On Saturday Stuart, Emma and Carolina had a house-warming/belated birthday/summer barbeque in Bermondsey. Great fun. It finished at 10 o'clock. 10 o'clock Sunday morning that is.

At about 9pm we went to Andrew and Tim's house-warming down in Brockley. Also great fun.

More pix here.

Friday, July 25, 2008
Update: John Barrowman: The Making of Me...
Actually the John Barrowman TV programme last night was quite good. Who knew he had such a strong Scottish accent? They were basically looking at what makes someone gay. The usual nature vs nurture stuff. Some of the research scientists were cute. The conclusion was that it seems to be that it's nature and not nurture, there's no gay gene been found yet but that it's probably the amount of testosterone that the mother releases in the womb that affects later siblings sexuality. So that's sorted then.

Next week it's Colin Jackson's turn to be examined. I know what you're thinking but it's his sporting prowess that's being investigated not his sexuality.

Performance Listings for Duckie...
Here are the upcoming performance listings for Duckie.

26 July - Ursula Martinez / Rasp Thorne
2 Aug - DGD*: Lucille Power / Tetraflap
9 Aug - DGD*: Stella Plumes
16 Aug - DGD*: Lambchop Magoo / Amy G
23 Aug - DGD*: Helenka
30 Aug - DGD*: Adams & Rea
6 Sept - Bearlesque / Jessica Delfino
13 Sept - Slippery Fish / Tortoise Shout
20 Sept - Dickie Beau
27 Sept - Chris Lynam
4 Oct - Buggarchops
11 Oct - Scottee
18 Oct - Jonny Woo
25 Oct - Luci Briginshaw / Richard Dedomenici
1 Nov - Villian / Bourgeois and Maurice
8 Nov - Des O’Connor
15 Nov - Paul L. Martin
22 Nov - Probe

*Duckie Goes Dykey
In August all birds get in to our disco for £3.99. All profits to Wages Due Lesbians. Chicks only on stage.

Thursday, July 24, 2008
John Barrowman: The Making of Me...
Oh good. More John Barrowman on TV tonight. No doubt I'll watch it though. Hadrian looks interesting too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Chaka Khan...
Last night Darren, Stu and I went to see Chaka Khan at the IndigO2.

Chaka Khan is as mad as a box of frogs but has a great voice and packs a punch on stage. I actually enjoyed it way more than I thought I would - in no small part due to the excellent seats Darren had secured for us.

Dismissing I Feel For You and Ain’t Nobody as the two opening numbers we weren't quite sure where she was going next but she wowed us with a ninety minute set of new stuff and classics. Great voice and great show.

There was some criticism later that she sings along to her songs rather than actually sings them - but, hey, that's what see does. And she does it really well!

The full set list was:
Once You Get Started (instrumental by the band), I Feel For You, Ain’t Nobody, Stay, Do You Love What You Feel, Whatchu Gonna Do For Me, You’ve Got The Love, One For All Time, Hollywood, Tell Me Something Good, Sweet Thing, Angel, Please Pardon Me, Through The Fire, What’s Going On and two encores, I'm Every Woman and Stop On By.

Picture It. Sicily, 1923...
Estelle Getty (Sophia from The Golden Girls) sadly has died. Shame. The Golden Girls was one of my favourite shows, was must-see viewing at it's peak and introduced me to the equally fabulous Maude.
[Thanks Darren]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Batman and the Plague Of Flying Ants...
Batman has been arrested by the police and there was a plague of flying ants in London today. The world is turned upsidedown.

Can you walk on custard?...
Of course you can (if it's not too runny that is). Custard is a non-Newtonian fluid.

Monday, July 21, 2008
Down and out in Paris...
More Champagne anyone?Paris was fun. For sightseeing we went to some of Stu hotspots to see; Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame and did a Grande Tour on the open-top bus.

On Friday evening we did some of the early evening gay bars and ended up in the Bears' Den (dodgy stairwell 'n'all).

Unfortunately Stu fell ill on the Saturday with an upset tummy so we spent much of the day in our hotel room. I'm happy to take any questions about French Big Brother variant Secret Story at this point. More pix here.

Friday, July 18, 2008
Stu and I are off on the Eurostar to Paris this morning for three days. A belated birthday present for my beloved. The plan is to take Stu to his favourite places in Paris, take in a few new sights he's not been to before and perhaps indulge in a spot of schmoozing avec les parisiennes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Top 10 Dance Records...
Top 10 Dance Records as voted by the listeners to BBC Radio 2.
1. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson (1983)
2. I Feel Love - Donna Summer (1977)
3. Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine - James Brown (1970)
4. Strings Of Life - Rhythim Is Rhythim (1987)
5. Where Love Lives - Alison Limerick (1994)
6. Keep On Movin' - Soul II Soul (1989)
7. Can You Feel It - Fingers Inc. (1988)
8. Big Fun - Inner City (1988)
9. Theme From S'Express - S'Express (1988)
10. Key To My Happiness - The Charades (1966)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Print Free Day...
It's a print free day today in the office. No printing, no photocopying. Transgressors have to put money in the charity box.

Ladies and Gentlemen... Miss Grace Jones
Latest acts just announced for the Electric Picnic: Grace Jones, Joan as Policewoman, Dan Deacon, Booka Shade, Deadmau5. Yay!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Arsenal defend season ticket hike...

Prayers for Bobby...
I don't know if you've read Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son. It's a very powerful and life affirming book. It draws on the diaries of Bobby Griffith, a gay youth who committed suicide, and traces his mother's struggle to face her son's sexuality. She was a devout Christian, as was he, and they believed he could be cured through the power of prayer. Sadly that was not what happened and after much self-examination she has since become a vocal gay-rights advocate. It's also being made into a film with Sigourney Weaver

Monday, July 14, 2008
Kath and Kim US...
Kath and Kim American version commercial. God, it looks awful.

Sunday, July 13, 2008
Livinia Slutford...
Last night Andy organised some tickets for us go and see Jonathan Hellyer's new creation Livinia Slutford perform a show called Slutty Livin' at the Pleasance Theatre above the notorious Shillibeers Bar in Islington.

Livinia Slutford is a vile creation not too dissimilar to Jonathan's alter-ego The Dame Edna Experience. Self proclaimed voice of an angel / language of the devil Slutford is a transexual porn star who has started to break into the cabaret circuit. So we were treated to a heady mix of standup wit, gross-out gags and pitch perfect song mimicry. All good stuff. She knows her audience too - it was well written and topical material. One or two shades of both Tina C and Pam Ann in places perhaps but that's no bad thing. The crowd loved it.

For those expecting The Same Edna Experience weren't disappointed. For those hoping for something new have perhaps seen the start of something big in slutty Slutford.

Friday, July 11, 2008
Pringles are not crisps...
It's official. Pringles are not crisps. They are "potato flour, corn flour, wheat starch and rice flour together with fat and emulsifier, salt and seasoning, with a potato content of only 42%." So not strictly crisps. So will now be exempt from VAT. Stuart will be pleased.

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Still ill.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Double Dose...
I managed to get to my GP this morning. She has doubled my amoxicillin anti biotics dose to 500mg as this infection isn't shifting. Hope it works.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Sick and tired (of being sick and tired)...
It started to come on last Friday. The tickly cough. Then by Saturday I had the beginings of a sore throat and was feeling tired. Saturday night I lost my voice completely. By Sunday morning I had a bunged up nose. And by Sunday night I was coughing up green chunks (sorry Guy if your eating you breakfast). So it's been two days in bed so far with nothing but amoxicillin, Lemsip Max Cold & Flu, Kleenex for Men, Boots Ibuprofen and Honey & Lemon Strepsils for company. That's two infections in two weeks, first ear then throat. What next? Nose? Bah!

Monday, July 07, 2008
Gay Shame 2008...
Last Saturday Sparky, Paul, Stu, I (and 2000 other people) headed down to The Coronet in Elephant and Castle to Duckie's Gay Shame 2008. It was a night of masculinity and butchness. Hot, sweaty and great fun. The only downside of the night was a drag king at the truckstop who got a bit carried away.

A few snaps below. More snaps here.

Friday, July 04, 2008
It's Torture...
So it's offciial. David Gray's music is torture.

In the film industry, Guttenberg's law states that quality of sequel = (quality of original)/(number of sequel*2). Check out this fab site for some films and a test of how many sequels you think they have had.
[Thanks b3ta]

Thursday, July 03, 2008
Happy Birthday...
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Stuart,
Happy Birthday to you.

PS: There's something about that photo that always makes me laugh. Foxy!

PPS: We'll be in Comptons from 7:30pm tonight if you fancy joining us for a jar.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Gay Shame 2008... Duckie Gets Macho
The Annual Festival of Masculinity will be held on Saturday 5 July 2008 9pm – 4am at The Coronet 28 New Kent Road, SE1 Elephant & Castle tube.

Duckie Gets Macho

7 rooms - 30 stalls - 50 artists - 2,000 punters

On Gay Pride night 2008 it’s time to make men pay. Collect your wad of ‘nine bob notes’ on the door and spend them in the market place as Duckie turns consumers into real men.

Featuring dozens of interactive installations that test your masculinity.

Effeminate homosexuals will be barred and women vaguely tolerated as designer Robin Whitmore turns The Coronet into an interactive nightclub-theatre with the aesthetics of a giant mini-cab office: sticky, brown, stained, a bit pongy and distinctly lacking a feminine touch.

Tickets £15 on the door on the night or in advance in person from The Retro Bar (2 George Court, off The Strand, WC2)

Starring Amy Lamé, Justin Bond, Christopher Green, Marisa Carnesky, Scottee, Helen Plewis, Bearlesque, Timberlina, Jack, Susannah Hewlett, Hannah Eaton, Russell Harris, Charlie Pulford, Laura Bridgeman, Paola Cavallin, Dominic Johnson, Owen Parry, Andrew Mitchelson, Matthew Robins, Tim Spooner, Anthony Schrag, Pau Ros, Tom McLeod, Dicky Eton, Daniel Martin, Steven Whinnery, Brian Lobel, David Iriarte, Rachel Parry, Howard Hardiman, Nicholas Immaculate, Sue Frumin, Ella Simpson, Thom Shaw, Ryan Ormonde, Roy Kerr, Lucille Power, The Lauderettas and Miss High Leg Kick.

DJs Readers Wifes, Lush and Father Cloth play dadrock and other masculinist anthems

Dress code: Butch lesbians, straight blokes, fat darts players. No pink, no heels, no floral patterns, no humanity.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Ear Ache...
Last night I developed an excruciating ear ache in my left ear. And I couldn't hear out of it properly either.

The pain was so bad it woke me up at 3am exactly and I just couldn't get back to sleep. A couple of ibuprofen helped with the pain but still didn't let me nod off again.

I'm the first to admit I do the wrong thing with my ears. I stick all sorts of things in there when I've got an itch to scratch; pencils, phone sticks, cocktail sticks, you name it. It's just the wrong thing to do of course. Sticking things in your ears compacts ear wax, can damage the ear drums, introduces foreign objects that get stuck and can, as has probably been the case with me, introduce infection. Infection leads to swelling. And I guess the swelling causes the pain.

As I was lying in bed in this what had become skull cracking pain I briefly thought about going to A&E (drama queen). Then I thought maybe I wait until the morning and bowl up at the doctors' surgery. By 5am I'd scaled back my ambitions to a simple trip to Boots the chemist on the way into work.

Eventually I dragged myself out of bed feeling dog tired and proceeded to do the one thing I really shouldn't have done. My only defence is that I was really tired. I stupidly decided to poke around my painful ear with a cotton bud. My thinking being I couldn't make things worse and I might actually get the infection out (ok I was really tired so not thinking straight). How wrong I was. As soon as I stuck the cotton bud in I howled with pain and hopped around the bathroom. What an idiot. That really hurt. My ear was now throbbing. Throbbing and angry. Waiting for me to make my next move.

As I was throwing the cotton bud away I noticed it was soaked in an aqueous black gunge. Yuk. So there was something in my ear I thought. Against all reason I decided I has to get it out by hook or by crook. Excruciating pain or no.

So I hopped in the shower and unscrewed the shower head. To the end of the shower hose I attached an empty syringe barrel. You mean you don't have syringe barrels lying around your bathroom? Once the water was turned on this produced a single small jet of water with the thrust of a small space rocket. I steadied myself. This was either deafness or bust.

I didn't want to go in all guns blazing as my painful ear was still smarting from the cotton bud folly. So gingerly I tried it out of my 'good' right ear first. And it seemed to do the trick. It blasted away all the ear wax, the crud, the whatever from my 'good' ear just fine. I shook the water out and I could hear out of my 'good ear' clear as a bell.

Right. In for a penny, in for a pound. I stuck the jet of luke-warm water into my painful, swollen, black aqueous crud-filled left ear and hoped for the best.

To my amazement it felt really good. Lots of crap came out and it tickled a bit right inside my head. But afterwards my ear felt way better. Sure the swelling was still there and a bit of pain but nothing like what it was. I shook my head. Finished showering and tried not to focus too much on what damage I might have caused.

That was about two hours ago and so far so good. My ear initially swelled up a little bit then calmed down. It's really painful now just aching a bit. It may just be a brief respite as the infection can't have been completely washed away. So I waiting to see what happens next. I might take a trip to Boots and see it they've got any drops to reduce the swelling.

Update: upon the advice of friends and work colleagues I agreed to see a doctor. Unfortunately my own surgery couldn't see me until next Monday (six days hence) so I went to the Soho NHS Walk-in Centre. They saw me within forty-five minutes and prescribed some ear drops called Locorten-Vioform to be taken twice a day for a week. I also got a stern warning about poking things in my ears in future!

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